More than 1,000 Ellesmere Port youngsters have benefited from creative learning sessions thanks to a tie-up between a local theatre and the town’s oil refinery.
Action Transport Theatre (ATT), based in the Green Flag Whitby Park, and oil giant Essar at Stanlow are celebrating another successful year of partnership.
Their initiative has seen hundreds of local schoolchildren enjoying performances, workshops and creative sessions designed to raise their creative aspirations and boost the use of creative learning in schools.
Schools taking part included St Bernard’s RC Primary, Cambridge Road Community Primary, Westminster Primary, Dorin Park School in Chester, The Oaks Community Primary, St Saviour’s RC Primary, Oldfield Primary in Chester and Meadow Primary.
The year also saw a new whole-school project at Elton Primary in which every child experienced high quality performances and took part in creative workshops exploring emotions such as anger and conflict and helping them develop approaches to deal with these.
Another highlight saw a member of ATT’s Young Creatives visiting his old primary school to speak to pupils about his involvement in several Essar-funded creative projects.
The event, at Hinderton Primary Special School, was aimed at inspiring and empowering pupils to pursue creative activities.
An Essar spokesperson said: “Essar at Stanlow has a long-standing relationship with Action Transport Theatre.
“It is great to see the variety of projects they are delivering into our local schools through the programme, inspiring creativity and innovation as well as developing strategies to help children deal with everyday emotional challenges.”
The theatre company is in the midst of an ambitious capital project seeking to transform their current venue into a world-class cultural space for Ellesmere Port. An online campaign saw them collect more than 1,000 signatures in a week, as well as the support of local politicians and businesses.
It is the only specialist young people’s theatre in Cheshire creating bold and innovative theatre that tours regionally and nationally. Their partnership with Essar at Stanlow has seen the two companies successfully collaborate on a number of projects to increase innovation and creativity in schools in the town.
Their latest new play, Adrift, has been co-commissioned by St Bernard’s Primary School. It explores themes around the refugee crisis and will be touring schools and venues later in the year.