Case Study: The Turnpike Gallery

“We are a values-led organisation and find ourselves aligned with Rule of Threes’ ethos and approach to community co-creation and the socially impactful role of artists — they have a brilliant track record of initiating programmes of positive and long-term change. Their ability to see potential through connectivity and partnership is evident, and working with them has allowed us to hone our vision in a way that will remain responsive to the ever-shifting landscape we’re currently living in.”

— Partner Testimonial from Helen Stalker, Director of The Turnpike

A cornerstone of our practice, we help art organisations realise their true potential, and support plans for energetic and engaging programmes, aligning the needs of local people with the creativity and ambition of artists. Encapsulating the spirit of change-making in place, and example of our sustained partnerships, is The Turnpike — an independent art space who we have been working with closely since March 2020.

The Turnpike produce a year round programme of contemporary art — committed to platforming artists from the North West — alongside a ground-breaking cultural education offer for families, children and young people; a thriving volunteer programme, and artist development opportunities

“Embedded in our community, we have a genuine curiosity in what makes Leigh tick, and are responsive to local needs yet connected to national debates, priorities and opportunities through strategic partnerships.”

Almost a year ago, we started working with the Turnpike to take bold and innovative steps towards a new model of working; strategic re-imagining of their role as a contemporary art organisation with social purpose. Building on learning from our previous work, Rule of Threes worked closely with The Turnpike’s Director, Helen Stalker, to develop and form an entirely new artistic offer and approach to programming – Activations. Marking a shift in the Turnpike’s organisational development, the programme created a stable financial basis for brave new approaches to creative experimentation, and opened up new ways of resourcing their programmes and delivering their work through new partnerships.

The Turnpike’s Activations programme has led the way in the organisation’s vision as an artist-led testing ground, where artists and people of all ages and backgrounds come together to test out dynamic approaches to creating art, learning new skills, connecting with others in their community and creating lasting social change. Through partnerships with other community-led organisations, including Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, Everything Human Rights, as well as utilising the energy and knowledge of artists including Frances Disley, Ibukun Jesusanmi Baldwin (Bukky Baldwin), Anna FC Smith and Helen Mather — the programme has amalgamated different voices in the co-creation of innovative new artworks.

Since supporting the Arts Council England project grant bid for Activations, we have supported The Turnpike’s Cultural Recovery Fund application and further strategic work to help develop the organisation’s infrastructure and embed a sustainable and financially resilient future.

“We are hoping to continue to collaborate with Rule of Threes as our work evolves. We’re at an exciting point in our development and see real value in maintaining a relationship with an organisation that is so attuned, not only to us organisationally but also to the place in which we work. We hope to work with Rule of Threes to build a solid and responsive cultural infrastructure through our activity – developing young artists, leaders, and commissioners for the future.”

As the Turnpike continues to grow and evolve as an alternative art space, we plan to continue supporting them through fundraising and development, acting as the organisation’s outsourced development arm. We will continue to provide strategic support, building a solid and responsive cultural infrastructure, using a creative and care-filled approach. As a result, we will help nurture young artists, leaders and commissioners for the future, and contribute to a new found sense of place, collective belonging and empowerment for communities in Leigh.

Find out more about our Consultancy partners here.