Orchestrated regeneration - Fleetwood Voice
Earlier this year, Regenda Homes partnered with the charity Music in Mind and commissioned a unique composition based on the melodies and rhythms from the speech of Fleetwood people.
Followed by the BBC for its Inside Out programme, the year-long project, titled Fleetwood Voice, culminated in a sold-out performance at the town’s Marine Hall by musicians from The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Fleetwood Voice project was part of Regenda Homes’ 10 Year Vision for Fleetwood which is a multi-million-pound investment into the town. The Vision is a people and place-based regeneration project that goes beyond the typical bricks and mortar investment associated with the housing sector.
Music in Mind, a charity which uses music to aid public health and wellbeing, worked in partnership with Regenda Homes to film a variety of local people, from business owners and ex-trawlermen to school children, discussing the identity of Fleetwood.
Composer John McHugh used the footage to create a unique composition based on the melodies and rhythms of speech which was then performed live on stage by musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
The result was an electrifying performance which captured the hearts of the packed-out audience and was given a standing ovation.
Aims of the Fleetwood Voice project:
- To increase community cohesion by enabling residents to engage in a large community project that uses arts and creativity to explore and create products to celebrate and showcase the history and heritage of Fleetwood.
- To target disengaged communities to engage in arts-based heritage learning to increase health and wellbeing, including increased resilience, confidence and aspiration.
- To create a sense of community, civic pride and belonging through a shared exploration of the history and heritage of the town. Showcasing this through a large-scale community event involving an orchestral and multimedia performance, photographic exhibition and film archive.
- 10 people trained as part of the project
- 20 volunteers recruited
- Engaged residents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods including Westview and Flakefleet
- 100% primary school participation
- Seven schools took part in workshops
- 150 people attended the two-school performance
- Interviewed over 1000 people through a range of community workshops including Healthier Fleetwood events, Marine Hall community events, Homecoming Parade, seven schools, Fleetwood Civic Society, Tram Sunday Festival, West View Community Association, Fleetwood Town FC and community sessions at Fleetwood Museum
- 550 people attended the final performance
- 100% of attendees want to see more arts performances similar to Fleetwood Voice
- 69% of the audience had never seen an orchestral performance before
- 14 local artists performedat the biggest venue in town to a capacity 550
- First Fleetwood Arts Partnership established
- Fleetwood Arts strategy written
- Cultural piece left as a legacy in the museum.
John McHugh, Composer and Director of Music in Mind, said: “It has been a privilege meeting so many Fleetwood people and hearing their stories about the town.
“The performance was magical and you can see that the music had a huge impact on the audience.
“Fleetwood is a town steeped in history and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to bring these tales and hopes for the future to life.”
Steve Newsham, Regional Director at Regenda Homes, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to bring this project to the town.
“It has been a fantastic experience working with Music in Mind for the past year and I would like to thank everybody who helped make this happen.
“The performance was awe inspiring and a reminder of what a great place Fleetwood is.”
The project was made possible through partnerships with Arts Council England, Wyre Council, LeftCoast and Lancashire Council.
What to know more about the outcomes? Download the Fleetwood Voice evaluation: AW_Evaluation document.pdf [pdf] 7MB.
You can view the full Fleetwood Voice Trailer below: