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Working with Bretton communities...

Bretton was one of Peterborough’s first new townships, built in the early 1970s. it was innovative in its design with clusters of houses alongside community facilities and green open spaces. The design was  intended to create a strong community ethos and Our programme aims to build on this through working with residents to create spaces for creativity, both inside and out. You can read more about our artistic vision for bretton here.

Click the picture to see our Bretton Festival photos by photographer Luke Payn.

Click the picture to see our Bretton Festival photos by photographer Luke Payn.

In 2017 we worked with Better Bretton; a group of local residents aged 50 plus established by the Royal Voluntary Service. We spoke to the group about their wishes and concerns for a creative project in their area. In response to this our first commission for Bretton asked for a project that would:

  • Share/celebrate the stories and experiences of local residents

  • Involve and engage people aged 50 and over

  • Provide intergenerational activities

  • Encourage residents to take pride in the areas green spaces

The panel were given a selection of proposals from artists and arts groups and they chose to work with Katy Hawkins on a project titled 'Bretton Greens'. During this time we also worked with Bretton Parish Council who run 'Bretton Festival' every year. We programmed some additional artistic and creative activity to happen as part of the festival.



Bretton Greens was our first project in Bretton, delivered by creative producer, Katy Hawkins. The project happened in three stages. It began with a series of creative walks such as poetry walks, smell walks and bird walks. In the second stage, workshops were held for residents to design interventions that could be used to improve the area. These included workshops on garden design and birdbox making. Participants could then submit their idea to be turned into a piece of art. The wider community were invited to vote for their favourite designs and three were selected:

  • A mural at the site of the former paddling pool

  • A small community garden

  • An installation of bird boxes at the local primary school

The winning designs were then created and installed with the community. The final stage of the project was an illustrated map which highlighted the three pieces of art alongside information on local groups and snippets of poems created. Read more about the project and working with Katy over on our blog.

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Bretton Festival

Bretton Parish Council has run Bretton Community Festival for more than 30 years and it has always been a fun filled day with stalls, food, fair ground rides, and musical entertainment. Our creative producer for Bretton Festival & Millfield Festival, Simon Hollingworth, programmed some brilliant extra activities including digital illusion Anti-Gravity Box, LifeBoat, a graffiti wall, street theatre from Talking Birds and Folk Faeries, dance from Spilt Milk, and music headliners including folk star Elliott Morris.

Bretton Festival 2017 saw thousands of attendees across the glorious summer day and was a brilliant celebration of the local community. For phase 2 we will continue to support Bretton Festival and deliver some wow factor great art as part of the event.

You can see all the photos from Bretton Festival below.


Do you live in Bretton? Want to be involved in our upcoming projects? Fill out the expression of interest form and someone from Peterborough Presents will be in touch soon!

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