Up The Broomy


‘Up the Broomy’ is an ambitious publicly engaged arts project, connecting local residents and artists in collaborations to create inspiring objects, events and performances. Themes will be deeply rooted in the place’s culture with strong emotional resonances. The work will accompany the regeneration of the area currently being led by River Clyde Homes, as well as informing the environmental improvement of Greenock’s Broomhill. RIG Arts will utilise experimental approaches and employ a meaningful commitment to widening access to the arts amongst local people.


“Working class areas have cultures!”

-Chris Maguire, Artist, Fatima.

The programme is inspired by a visit to to the Fatima area of Dublin by a group of local artists and Broomhill Tenants and Residents Association (TARA). Seeing the extraordinary benefit of an arts led approach to regeneration, River Clyde Homes funded an arts focused pilot to dig into the cultural archaeology of Broomhill, engage tenants and residents in the process of change and influence the planning of the environment.

The pilot ran by RIG Arts identified three main cultural themes. The ‘Up the Broomy’ arts project will develop on these three main themes:

  • MUSIC – RIG Arts will commission a musician and/or composer and/or songwriter with a strong contemporary sound to work with the community to create a musical expression for Broomhill. This may be an album of songs, a musical composition or a fusion of recorded material and performance.
  • SCULPTURE –  ‘Up the Broomy’ will commission a sculptor who has a track record of working with working with the community in hands-on ways, perhaps using existing skills latent within older residents to create new works.
  • CREATIVE MOVEMENT – Despite the large numbers of children now living  in Broomhill, very few feel able to use the space for play. Movement through space and connection are crucial aspects to environmental regeneration programme. These can be explored through commissioning an inspiring and multi-disciplined movement specialist to develop a programme develop a programme of work that makes full use of existing space and shows the potential for connectivity and change. The brutalist nature of some of the spaces and the play-based inspiration would lend itself well to a street movement specialist.

Training and Education

The ‘Up the Broomy’ project will have marbled through them clear elements of training, development and capacity building, connecting with local agencies to recruit participants and develop programmes where access and support can be deep and continuous.these agencies will include River Clyde Homes, landscape architects, the Beacon Arts Centre, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), Inverclyde Association of Mental Health, Your Voice, the local schools and early years establishments, and local youth services.

As with Fatima, the project will seek to identify community champions either local workers or residents who will benefit from training in Music, Sculpture and Creative Movement and ensure that culture and the arts remain at the heart of Broomhill. Where possible, course will be accredited by Community Learning Development, Edinburgh School of Art or broader achievement awards such as Youth Achievement Awards or Volunteer Awards.


Creative Village Hack Space

A new temporary creative space will be developed on land in Broomhill with facilities for making larger scale work. The hack space will make sure of a disused space within the community, converting an underutilised car park or waste ground into making and training spaces for the use of artists and the community.


International Sculpture Symposium

As well as organising the reclamation of the sandstone blocks, RIG Arts will work in partnership with Tom Allan from Glasgow Sculpture Studios to develop an international Sculpture Symposium for 2017. This would use the hack space to host sculptors who will share knowledge and skills, attend talks, inform the public art process in the local community and deliver a programme of workshops to local artists and residents. This will be repeated in 2018 to celebrate the role sculpture is set to play in the environmental improvements.


Moving Image

RIG Arts have identified through the pilot project that film-making  and moving image are crucial in creating a legacy of the project, community, and area. From documenting the artistic presence in the area to offering training and hands on experience to local residents, RIG Arts will use film and creative media to engage with the public and create high quality creative outputs.


Outdoor Events

One of the key learning outcomes from the Fatima trip was the need to ‘festivalise’ the culture, get it out into the street and mark launches and completed works with events. These events would punctuate the programme of work, bringing people from the community together to celebrate their area while attracting audiences from outside and raising the profile of Broomhill.


To read more about the arts in Broomhill, read our blog posts which can be found on the drop-down menu above.


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