Whitacre Close residents celebrate new play area - CIRCUS STYLE

Release Date: 30-Nov-2009
The Circus is coming to Whitacre Close, Deighton this December, and thanks to a Lawrence Batley Theatre outreach project - most of the performers live there already!
The project has been a big hit with local young people

The project has been a big hit with local young people

The Deighton and Brackenhall Initiative (DBI) and KNH have just completed a brand new play area for the children of Whitacre Close and the young people plan to celebrate its opening in style - Circus Style.

Earlier this year, local residents voted a new playground as their top priority for improving their area. They wanted a safe, stimulating place for their children to play.

Thanks to DBI funding, they got their wish. And while the building work has been going on, youngsters from the estate have been attending circus skills workshops courtesy of the Lawrence Batley Theatre.

Every Wednesday they have been learning a range of skills from professional circus performers – Urban Circus Arts. The workshops are part of a year long outreach project developed by the Education and Outreach Department at LBT called Take Centre Stage, that will finish in Summer 2010 and involve the Whitacre Close Tenants and Residents Association, Brackenhall Kidz and Teenz Klub, Playmates Nursery and Ashbrow Infants School.

The aim of the project is to give young people the opportunity to learn performing arts skills, as well as giving them the opportunity, which they might not have had before, to attend shows, as well as showcase their work at the theatre.

Right now the young people are busy rehearsing for a spectacular show which will light up the area with some breathtaking tricks and feats. Everyone is invited to join them and help celebrate the opening of the new play area in style.

Carol Ward from Whitacre Close TRA is delighted with the work. She said “the new play area will really make a difference for the younger children. It gives them a safe place to go.” As for the circus skills, she added, “they are amazing! There is some real talent amongst the young people here and I just can’t wait to see them perform.”

She continued by saying, “I must express my heartfelt appreciation to DBI and the Lawrence Batley Theatre for bringing good news to Whitacre Close. The people of Whitacre Close can now look forward to their very own festival of light this December and the young people can show off all their skills. “

Janet Gibson, who has managed the playground consultation and building work for KNH, said: “This has been a great project. Not only does the playground give Whitacre Close residents what they wanted but the workshops have really helped the young people blossom – it’s been lovely watching them get involved.”

Jenny Goodman, Head of Education and Outreach, Lawrence Batley Theatre said, “LBT is delighted to be able to work in Ashbrow celebrating and developing the talents of local young people. It is absolutely fabulous to see the young people of Whitacre Close trying something new and discovering what experts they are in Circus skills. We can’t wait to see how they develop over the year and look forward to welcoming them at LBT to showcase their work”

The year-long project is funded by the Deighton Brackenhall Initiative (DBI) a revolutionary, award-winning partnership between the community, elected members, public services, agencies and business which is improving local services, community facilities and the overall environment in an effort to improve the quality of life for all residents living in the area.

Notes for Editors

• LBT’s Education and Outreach department deliver a range of participatory activities in the community through partnerships with schools and community organisations
• Take Centre Stage is the overall project name for LBT/DBI community arts projects. 4 community arts projects will be delivered in Deighton and Brackenhall over 2009 – 2010. The project manager for this initiative is Maggie O’Keeffe, Outreach Arts Worker at LBT.
• The DBI project is a partnership between Kirklees Council and Southdale Homes in which 600 hard to let houses have been demolished new houses built for sale and for rent by a housing association. The partnership is unique in that it create