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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..

Leigh Film Society

We are currently working in partnership with Leigh Film Society to host film screenings relevant to the running show at the Royal Exchange, with the cinema seats being taken from the theatre. The screenings take place at Spinners Mill and are accompanied by a post-film discussion over a brew and a slice of cake! All tickets are FREE and be booked through the Leigh Film Society.

We are now working closely with our Leigh Ambassadors to begin planning and programming THE DEN, which will be coming to Leigh Spinners Mill in May 2020!

One of our favourite stories about Leigh came from the residents, who told us about Jessie ‘The Cropper’. Jessie became famous for cutting peoples hair in exchange for a brick. Over many summers, Jessie slowly and carefully built his family home with these infamous bricks. We can’t wait to hear more stories from across Leigh and Wigan.

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.