Festival of Making: Crafting a difference

By Lancashire Business View

19 Jul 2017

In association with

A huge free festival celebrating manufacturing and craft has found a home in Lancashire.

Lancashire makes things. So it was fitting that the first National Festival of Making took place in Blackburn, where a quarter of the population still works in manufacturing.

More than 30,000 people from across the UK descended on the town for the event, which explored and celebrated the present day diversity in the range, scale and skills of those who make things.

The event brought together manufacturing, art, science, digital and craft experiences. Organisers, delighted by the response, called it a “vibrant celebration of Britain’s unrivalled making heritage and its bright future.”

It proved such a success plans are already in hand to bring it back to Blackburn next year – and make it even bigger and better. International designer Wayne Hemmingway, who is from the town, was the festival’s director, and he would like to see it become an annual event, with its home in Blackburn.

The event looked to attract makers and manufacturers from across the country to show visitors to the festival their talents and skills.

It included workshops, demonstrations, commissions and exhibitions as well as food, music and entertainment. Much of the festival was “hands on” and included exhibitions and demonstrations.

Ed Matthews-Gentle of Creative Lancashire said the choice of Blackburn as host was an “endorsement of our thriving industries.” He added: “The region has a long-established manufacturing heritage, fuelled by a vibrant and dynamic creative sector, which continues to be at the forefront of innovation.” Creative Lancashire with partners including Crafts Council, D&AD, The Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS), and Lancashire Business View presented a series of conference events, to explore manufacturing and creativity.

To read more about the Festival of Making, see Lancashire Business View edition 75.

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