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(The National Festival of) Making a Difference in Blackburn

13th December 2017

Categories: Town Centre News

Blackburn town centre played host to the first National Festival of Making in 2017, but what impact did it have for the town?

The festival set out with a unique mission: to champion the UK’s best makers and making activties, from the kitchen table to the factory floor, with a contemporary and accessible programme. The data is in and shows that making makes a difference, with lasting effects for the town and its community.

Over the festival weekend more than 30,000 additional visitors made their way to the town centre, where the festival footprint stretched for more than a kilometre across 19 venues. Families, young people and experience seekers came from across the country – as far away as London, Peterborough and Carlisle – with 15% of people visiting Blackburn for the first time. What did they think?

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the town so alive. Very excited about the future and all the town’s emerging creative possibilities!”  – Scott Bradley, North West Films

A huge 80% of people who attended said that they’d love to return in the future – citing the town’s interesting architecture, positive regeneration and ‘Blackburn clearly on the up!’ – and 50% of attendees (including those who lived in the town) said they had seen Blackburn in a new light.

No wonder – the town buzzed with activity. The weekend saw 2,750 people passing through Blackburn Museum, 1,100 enjoying the festival film programme at the Bureau Centre for the Arts, and 120 people getting stuck into activities at Blackburn’s state-of-the-art Making Rooms. A lucky few even got the chance to don hard-hats and experience the grandeur of the Cotton Exchange, the 19th Century gem opening its doors for the first time since 2012.

Read the full article HERE

We are looking forward to the second National Festival of Making in Blackburn 12th – 13th May 2018 

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