Blackburnians come together to back hometown.

Published October 14, 2014 at 15:29

Blackburnians are getting together to spread the ‘good news’ about Blackburn with a night featuring top DJs performing in a former church.

Blackburn bred Christine Cort, Managing Director of the Manchester International Festival, is teaming up with fellow Blackburnian , designer Wayne Hemingway MBE to host the event which it is hoped will further cement the town’s creative ‘resurrection’.

Hacienda legend DJ Dave Haslam will be headlining the night called Back to Blackburn, which will take place in the beautiful and historic former church St Johns.

Wayne Hemingway MBE who is the creative director for regeneration scheme Blackburn is Open will also be hitting the decks along with son  Jack Hemingway as they dig into their extensive vinyl collections of soul , funk and disco

They will be joined by local lad Jonathan Nutter, who was the resident DJ at much loved venue Cellar Bar.

Blackburn based wallpaper manufacturers Graham & Brown are also lending their backing by helping to decorate the venue and design work is being sponsored by local design company Source Creative and artist Alexandra Gallagher.

The night on Saturday, November 29 is supported by the Blackburn is Open scheme that was set up to aid regeneration through cultural and creative events and initiatives.

Since it was launched in 2013 by Blackburn with Darwen Council with funding from Arts Council England it has introduced a year round programme of events and aided the setting up of creative businesses within the town centre.

Christine Cort who is one of the driving forces behind the Manchester International Festival that attracts thousands to the North West and showcases original work by the likes of Damon Albarn and Maxine Peake, was born and educated in Blackburn.

She says she was compelled to get involved and support her hometown.

“There is a real energy in Blackburn at the moment and it’s been exciting to watch what’s been happening over the last twelve months.

“I’ve wanted to get involved because Blackburn is where I’m from and I want it to do well but was just waiting for the right opportunity.

“Back to Blackburn was an idea that came out of some of my favourite memories of clubbing in Blackburn with friends like Wayne Hemingway.

“Hopefully we can recreate some of the amazing nights that we all enjoyed and to see it happen in such a unique setting is a bonus.”

Wayne Hemingway MBE who with wife Gerardine, opened his first Red or Dead shop in the town and went on build up one of Britain’s biggest fashion labels before launching the hugely successful Vintage brand and the award winning social design partnership Hemingway Design.

The former QEGS pupil is helping mastermind the cultural revival of Blackburn and says Back to Blackburn will help through a spotlight on exciting developments taking place in the town.

“When we started Blackburn is Open we obviously had high hopes but  it is heartening that after a mere twelve months the initiative is starting to really gain momentum

“It’s definitely a reason enough to celebrate and Back to Blackburn is an invitation to people to come along have  a boogie and to celebrate with us. “

“I meet creative people all the time who come from Blackburn and they are some of the most hard working and talented people you could wish to meet.  Blackburn has always been bursting with talent and that’s something we want to shout about and is yet another reason to get your dancing shoes on on!”

Executive member for Regeneration, Councillor Maureen Bateson said:

It’s fantastic to see successful Blackburnians getting together in support of their home town and the Blackburn is Open scheme.”

Blackburn is Open was an important part of the Council’s regeneration plans for the town centre and a recognition that art and culture play an important role alongside developments such as Cathedral Quarter and the new bus station.

Over the last twelve months it’s been inspiring to see so many talented people helped by the project, whether they’re setting up new businesses or workshops, or even just gaining valuable work experience.

I hope that this event will celebrate that and also encourage many more to get involved.

Back to Blackburn takes place on Saturday, November 29. Tickets are £10 plus online booking fee. Visit www.blackburnisopen.co.uk Tickets also available at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.

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