Festival hits the road with cash bonanza

The dancing diggers on the beach at Fleetwood's SpareParts Festival in 2014
The dancing diggers on the beach at Fleetwood's SpareParts Festival in 2014
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Fleetwood’s SpareParts festival – which brought dancing diggers to the Port’s sands – has received more than £528,000 to take its work across the North.

The transport themed arts festival, which runs as part of Fleetwood Festival of Transport, has been given £528,467 from the Arts Council England for its SpareParts: Accelerate plans to take its work out on the road to five transport festivals across the region.

SpareParts Festival in Fleetwood

SpareParts Festival in Fleetwood

SpareParts’ artistic director Adam McGuigan has hailed the grant as ‘absolutely invaluable’.

“This investment represents a step up to the next level for SpareParts as we take audiences on a journey with us across the north, supported by a fantastic network of partners from co-founders Wyre Council and LeftCoast to newer partners like Crewe Town Council, Cheshire East Council and Sandbach Transport Festival,” he said.

“The support of Arts Council England is absolutely invaluable and will allow us to be ambitious and daring with the programme and participation opportunities.”

This year the organisation will head to Sandbach Transport Festival in April and trAction in Crewe in July, before its homecoming to Fleetwood later that month.

Its touring schedule will increase through to 2020 when it will visit five locations.

The festival has been praised for its work engaging with those who don’t consider the arts to be ‘for them’, through its programming and connection to existing transport festivals.

Robert Brown, chairman of Fleetwood Festival of Transport, added: “The creation of SpareParts Festival has been a labour of love from the volunteer committee of Fleetwood Festival of Transport and we’re delighted.

“I’ve seen first-hand the power the arts can have to enrich people’s lives and we are very proud to be developing this trailblazing festival from Fleetwood.”

Director North, Arts Council England Jane Beardsworth said: “The SpareParts Festival has done a brilliant job in attracting new people to the event to enjoy the work of some excellent artists and I’m delighted that we have funded its development through our National Lottery funded Strategic Touring programme.”