Urban Room Blackburn
Blackburn is Open (BIO) had a permanent space which consisted of two empty shop units on the high street, opposite the Town Hall and Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. The space was managed by the Cultural Planner and BIO Project Director Claire Tymon, employed by Blackburn with Darwen BC. Whilst the space wasn’t officially an Urban Room (the term UR was not widely known when the BIO project launched), it included many features and roles which have now been adopted by the URN.
For Blackburn, the Urban Room also took the shape of an annual month-long festival of ideas, animation of derelict spaces and artistic interventions, including Blackburn Open Walls - an annual artist-led street art festival.
Location: Blackburn Town Centre Primary address - 65 King William Street Activities took place across the whole town centre including the bus station, Thwaites brewery (now demolished), Cotton Exchange, Leeds Liverpool canal.
Geographical area of focus: Blackburn Town Centre
Operated by: Initiated by Claire Tymon, Blackburn is Open Project Director for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Commissioned by: Initiated by Blackburn with Darwen BC
When was UR open?: The UR took the shape of a month-long event programme. This took place on three occasions between 2014-2016:
Timing: Temporary pop-up space with additional one-month long annual festival programme
How was it funded and resorced: Arts Council of England, BwD BC, sponsorship, partnerships with Creative Lancashire