2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

National Festival of Making Receives Arts Council England Funding for both 2019 and 2020

8th April 2019

We are thrilled to share the news that The National Festival of Making has been awarded Arts Council England funding that will support the growth of the festival programme for the next 2 years, allow us to commission original new artwork, and extend our outreach and work with communities until at least 2020.

Alison Clark, the Arts Council’s Director of Combined Arts and Director, North said:

We’re delighted to be investing in the National Festival of Making with an award from our National Lottery Project Grants scheme. The festival has gone from strength to strength each year, working with a wide range of artists and makers and providing innovative and engaging arts and cultural activities for families and communities in Blackburn. The festival has had such a fantastic impact on the town, encouraging more people to take part in this celebration of making, and I’m excited to see what it has to offer this year.

This news comes alongside the confirmed support of a host of generous funders and sponsors who individually empower the Festival of Making Community Interest Company to develop specific programme and community development strands:

The full list includes:

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council – working in partnership together with the local authority

Brian Mercer Trust – a grant to support the development of promising young artists working broadly in the field of visual arts

Granada Foundation – funding the integration of STEM subjects with artist interventions

Blackburn BID – supporting the visitor experience with town centre branding, marketing and more

Great Places Housing Group – connecting communities with a food education project

Blackburn College – funding to support collaborative working with students and courses

The Hive – supporting the connection of the festival to the business and manufacturing community in the town as well as launching the new Hive Membership scheme

The Mall – integral to the advertising and wayfinding strategy navigating festival visitors around the town

UCLan – funding festival activities with educational programmes in Fashion and Engineering & Innovation

Building sustainability and knowing that a we can deliver a programme across two years is truly fantastic news. We will continue to be delighted whilst getting on with delivering this years, third, National Festival of Making – a celebration of making, from the kitchen table to the factory floor!

Festival audiences can expect to see new Art in Manufacturing residencies with established and brand new factories, a new programme of making workshops for everyone, some of the best bits from 2018 will return (who didn’t get into The Cardboard Cinema last year?!), the development of our community and music project, a digital art commission, new making food initiatives, art exhibition – Industrialised, outstanding performance, an exciting programme of talks and panels through the weekend, more opportunities for STEAM making and a chance to pitch your MAKING ideas to industry.

Arts Council England funding across two years also allows us to carry out more in depth research, deliver year round outreach and build strategic partnerships with projects in support of broader cultural and economic aims in Blackburn, Lancashire and the UK.

We want to extend our huge thanks to funders, sponsors and the major industry partners who support the festival programme. We are a small (& busy!) team but through grant funding and sponsorship, and alongside a dedicated community of advocates and festival colleagues we’re able to achieve outstanding results with a significant impact.

The Festival of Making Team.



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.

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