2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

Blackburn Urban Food Futures

26th March 2024

Have you always wanted to learn about growing food in your local area? Join us for a series of free workshops all about the future of urban food production! We’ve partnered with the University of Salford on a research project to develop future ambitions for urban food production in Blackburn.

Leafy plants growing from pots in a white strcture


Blackburn Urban Food Futures is a research-based project involving a series of free workshops delivered by the National Festival of Making, The Making Rooms, and experts in urban agriculture from the University of Salford. The workshops are informative and collaborative – you can learn more about urban food growing, build your own windowsill growing system to take home, and design a prototype food system for Blackburn which we plan to build over the National Festival of Making weekend this July!

These workshops follow on from an introductory workshop we ran in March, but don’t worry if you missed it, you don’t need to have attended this to join us for the following workshops:

Workshop 2 – Build a windowsill food system

5th April: 1 – 3pm

Build your own windowsill food system as part of our workshop series ‘Blackburn Urban Food Futures’.

During this free session, you will learn how to make a simple growing system that can sit on your windowsill. You will be shown how to use a collection of materials – some you might find lying around your home, others more high-tech – to build a working semi-automated food system. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to take it home with a collection of seeds to start growing food.

Workshop 3 – Test and Trial

3rd May: 10am – 2.30pm

To develop amazing urban food systems, which serve local communities, it is really important to involve as many people in the design process as possible. That is why we need your help. During this co-creation session, we’ll discuss ideas, build models, and draw your vision for the ideal future of food growing in Blackburn. Lunch will be provided.

We hope you will join us for both workshops 3 and 4, however attendance to both isn’t essential.

Workshop 4 – Design and Refine

31st May: 10am – 2.30pm

During this final workshop, we’ll design and refine the chosen idea from workshop 3 in more detail and think about how you and the people of Blackburn might use and interact with this food system. The workshop will end by creating a final design, which will later be fabricated and built by you during the festival weekend. Lunch will be provided.

This is a research project in partnership with the University of Salford, and an extension of the Think it – Make it – Grow it project run by the University of Salford. The aim is to build the co-designed food system over the National Festival of Making weekend on the 6th and 7th July in Blackburn town centre. We will work with partners with the hope of finding a temporary home for the system. This workshop series allows you to learn more about urban food production, its benefits, and what, as a community of local organisations and residents, we can imagine for Blackburn’s future.




2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Back to top