Community consultation in Coniston across the last year has highlighted as shared concerns themes such as affordable housing, tourism and the ageing population as issues we will address through enhancing existing activity with creative solutions and by generating new local, creativity-led projects which will engage local people in co-creating their futures.
A core part of this project's approach is to encourage local people to develop the skills and confidence to undertake innovative local projects of all kinds, to contribute an active voice to the community and to engage in exchanges with other rural communities, both nationally and internationally. These exchanges will specifically explore new ways to ensure Coniston and the Crake Valley remain sustainable and engaging places in which to live, work and visit: By going to comparable communities all over the world we believe we can learn new solutions to the challenges we face, and see for ourselves how they work in practice elsewhere. For example, we can learn from the responses to an ageing population in rural Japan, or from how regional small museums in Poland offer each other mutual support and co-marketing.
As the project moves beyond this pilot phase, it is envisaged that more local organisations become part of the partnership, providing a joined-up approach to serving the communities of the local Crake Valley through the activities that range from agriculture to education to arts & heritage to sport.
The Valley Project is supported through funding and support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Grizedale Arts, the Coniston Institute and the Ruskin Museum.
On June 29/30 2019 we launched a number of Valley partnerships during our celebratory weekend, including Open Studios, BBQ's and exhibitions. Details can be found here.
In 2019 we continue to trial and pilot initiatives that aim to engage new participants and audiences in the Crake valley. These have recently included outdoor education projects and the communal Apple Day at the Coniston Institute.