Who are we?
Walk the Plank is one of the UK’s leading outdoor arts organisations and a registered charity. From village square to international stage, we work in collaboration with diverse communities and artists to enrich lives through shared creative experience. We create work that gives people a sense of pride, a sense of identity and a sense of place. In 2017 we move to our new creative hub for outdoor arts, in Salford, coinciding with our 25th anniversary. After a quarter of a century of inspiring creative excellence, we continue to have a huge appetite for artistic risk and innovation.
Founded in 1992 by Liz Pugh and John Wassell, our Creative Producers, the company produced work on board the UK’s only touring theatre ship for fifteen years; alongside outdoor performance, parades, and civic celebrations. Now we’re based on dry land: we are developing a new creative hub, with dedicated training space, workshops and purpose-built space, in Salford.
“Walk the Plank continues to be a trailblazer for Outdoor Arts in the UK; combining a constantly inventive artistic vision with socially grounded practice, the company brilliantly delivers true delight for audiences hand-in-hand with authentic community engagement… as well as being an inspiration for everyone else working in the sector.”
Angus MacKechnie, ISAN
What do we want to do?
With our new Cobden Works outdoor arts creative hub coming close to completion towards the end of July, we’re launching a mini crowdfunding campaign to help us put the essential finishing touches to our new home which we’ll be moving into in the same year that we mark our 25th anniversary.
Lead-funded by Arts Council England, our brand-new home will be the first time that our offices and workshop spaces are combined under one roof, along with a new learning and training facility. To say that it will be fantastic to have everything under one roof is nothing short of an understatement.
Our current base just down the road in Broad Street, Salford, has done a sterling job in giving us a roof over our heads but, as a converted end of terrace house, it hasn’t exactly been fit for purpose for many years.
Our current space in Salford. Imagine what we can achieve with Cobden Works.
So why do we need to crowdfund when we’ve already been funded by the Arts Council and other donors? Good question.
The answer is simple. As with all construction projects, even with the best planning and contingency, additional costs have inevitably cropped up. And even with a series of value engineering exercises to pare our costs to the bone, we’re just tantalisingly short of funds to ensure that Cobden Works is finished to the standard we envisaged.
Our campaign is designed specifically to help us fit out our internal courtyard which, given our proximity to a series of local waste and recycling tips, is an important ‘outdoor space indoors’ for both our staff and the many visitors who will come to see us from all over the world, either to collaborate on projects or join us on a training course.
Money raised from the campaign will also go towards ensuring we can have the right specification of lighting throughout the building. For security reasons, Cobden Works is predominantly windowless from the outside, which is why lighting will be such an important feature, particularly in the autumn and winter season when natural light is scarce.
We’re aiming to raise £25,000 and we’ve lined up a whole range of rewards to recognise the generosity of our crowd funders. Please note if you wish to pledge for more than one reward/item please make seperate donations for each of them. This makes it easier for the system to track how many are left.
And before you go, don't forget to take a look at our video which tells a very interesting story on why we’re moving down the road to Cobden Works.
Here’s to our next 25 years, and here’s to making Cobden Works as brilliant as we originally envisaged.
For the first time in our history, Cobden Works will give us the chance to bring the Walk the Plank team, artists and outdoor arts practitioners under the same roof, creating an exciting alchemy of skills and creative thinking.