New resource for local artists

MIDDLETON could soon raise its profile on the local arts scene with the establishment of a new art and exhibition space in the town’s historic Warwick Mill.

It’s the idea of Carl Roach director of the Lighthouse Project, based in the mill, which has already brought fresh inspiration to the town with free computer courses, a weekly work club and a crafts area for card making, knitting and leather craft.

 The Lighthouse mission includes ambitious plans to ‘realise the full potential of individuals and the town as a whole; to promote community development and to improve the lives of those who are in need.’ Now Carl and his team of volunteers intend to extend this dream and help raise the profile of Middleton artists in the Manchester area.

Among artists already connected with the centre is local painter Peter Baker. He has been dubbed ‘the Lighthouse Lowry’ because he paints local scenes and people like St Leonard’s Church, and the Middleton cenotaph ceremony. He has also replicated Lowry’s Chapel painting of the ‘24 steps’ in front of the former Methodist Chapel on Morton Street which Lowry made world famous.

Peter who has exhibited at Touchstones, and at the Middleton Arena also plans to exhibit his art at Cafe B in the town centre: ‘I’m a big fan of Lowry,’ he said ‘and I would like to do for Middleton what Lowry did for Salford and paint the town.’

Said Carl: ‘We want to encourage local artists to have somewhere to paint with other artists, to flourish, develop their skills and to exhibit their work in a new venue. This will confirm our position as a place to be inspired and provide a springboard for promoting Middleton as an emerging art and heritage destination.’

Warwick Mill is already a major landmark on the Middleton skyline, and the Lighthouse Project is a thriving community hub. Carl’s aim is to persuade more people to come through the door to see it for themselves, and to get involved. ‘You may have seen the Lighthouse from the outside. Why not come and discover the treasures that are inside?’

 If you are a local artist looking for somewhere to paint, or you are interested in supporting a new group or want to display your work in a town centre venue then please get in touch.

For  more on The Lighthouse Project call Carl Roach or Pam Semp our centre manager on 0161 643 1163 or visit the website