Egremont is a West Cumbrian town close to the Sellafield nuclear processing site. Suffering economic decline since the demise of mining and other traditional industries, the town sustains the world famous 'gurning' (face pulling) championship and the historic Crab Fair.
In 2005 the Egremont & Area Regeneration Partnership took the unusual step of commissioning Grizedale Arts to create an evolving programme of temporary public art projects celebrating local culture, that would provide a platform for future cultural growth. The work was led by Alistair Hudson & Karen Guthrie who worked with Karen Storr and Alison Southward on local delivery.
The resulting projects (from 2005 - 2007) included the 'Folk Float' (a mobile museum in a former inc-cream float designed by public works); the Egremont FM temporary radio station; a Community Orchard; public lighting schemes; the renovation of Thornhill Bus Shelter; a RIBA competition to create a new performance structure for the town's Norman castle; and the reinstatement of the town's Greasy Pole (with Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane).
The next phase of the project saw the creation of a new cultural production centre for the town at Florence Mine and the proposal of the new Castle Pavilion by Swiss architects Decosterd Cotting.