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Welcome to Leigh and Wigan where our latest Local Exchange residency is taking place. 

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We are starting to meet and build important partnerships with groups and individuals and have just recruited a very committed ambassador group.

We are having some inspiring conversations with our partners who include Wigan Council, The Turnpike Gallery, Leigh Spinners Mill, Leigh Film Society, The Canal & Rivers Trust (Bridgewater branch) and Umbrella Arts, as well as many schools from across the area. However, we are still looking for more people to get involved, so if you’re interested then don’t hesitate to drop us a line by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Connecting Tales

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Connecting Tales: A Podcast celebrating the cultural life of Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley. Brought to you by the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Local Exchange Leigh Ambassadors.

Leigh Ambassadors have created and produced Connecting Tales: A Podcast, which celebrates and showcases the people, cultural life, and creative opportunities available in Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton. An Ambassador led project created remotely during lockdown.

The first two episodes are available to listen to now featuring interviews with the four winners of LocalTALE; a playwriting prize for Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley residents set up by the Ambassadors in 2020. Featuring extracts from the four winning plays, performed by members of the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Young Company, Elders Company and Leigh Ambassadors. The extracts have been directed by Maria Zemlinskaya, Birkbeck Assistant Director for the Royal Exchange Theatre.

The winning plays will be performed in the Royal Exchange Theatre’s pop-up theatre, the Den at Spinners Mill in Summer 2021.

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The next episode will be available in Spring 2021 showcasing the creative life of Spinners Mill. Interviews with artists, groups and communities working in the Mill. During this episode, listeners will get to know the people that make this unique community space, ahead of the Den coming to Spinners Mill in Summer 2021.

Fred Longworth High School

The Royal Exchange has worked with students and staff from Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley for the past two years.

Students from the school have taken part in performing, technical theatre, producing and marketing workshops led by Royal Exchange staff as part of our Exchange 360 project; a programme originally conceived by a teacher at Fred Longworth High School in a partnership with Curious Minds. Whilst working on these projects, the students have also performed twice on the Royal Exchange main stage and have operated our sound and lighting boards. This project enabled the young people to find out about other careers in the arts and take responsibility for departments such as producing and marketing.

In 2018/19, the Royal Exchange worked with Fred Longworth High School to develop a writing for wellbeing project. This saw staff from the school and neighbouring schools take part in workshops with staff from the Royal Exchange to reflect on mental health and the pressures we experience. These workshops shaped activities for young people in schools on writing where they were offered prompts to free-write and either post their writing in a letterbox or display to encourage other students to take part. This project was again developed in partnership with Curious Minds.