Encounter 2023

Last year we completed a pilot project in collaboration with Preston City Council and the Encounter Festival.

We occupied a vacant retail space in the bus station concourse for five weekends in the run up to the festival. We engaged with 300 members of the public attending over 25 workshops; over 500 others visited the retail space selling artist made items from reclaimed materials.

We directly employed 5 artists and stocked the work of 8 individual makers in the shop.
The quality of merchandise offered was of the highest order and customers were surprised that the pieces were made from found, used or scrap materials.

We learned a great deal from this experience.

The community using the bus station engaged with us on a daily basis, for chats, advice and social interaction above and beyond the workshops and retail space offered.
We learned to organise artists and their work in a retail environment, we organised workshops and finances. We hope to develop this project on a larger scale with Encounter Festival and will enable us to build a stronger footing within the community offering a wide range of quality and engaging creative opportunities for both community and artists.

It will also allow us more credibility to engage local business in the development of reclamation and reuse of their waste.
We will contribute to the ambitions of Preston City Centre, filling empty retail space with a stunning space that can welcome the public and showing the changes that can be made through welcoming cultural and creative activity to the high street.