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Arts in Libraries

The National Lottery Arts Award

St.Helens Council’s Cultural Hubs has been crowned the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded arts programme in The National Lottery Awards.

The arts in libraries programme had beaten off stiff competition from over 600 other projects within the Arts category to reach the finals, where it received the most public votes.

The achievement and national recognition comes with a prize of £3,000 to boost Cultural Hubs’ diverse programme of arts based performances, plays, gigs, workshops, courses and exhibitions, enabling more emerging and established artists and performers to showcase their talent and creativity in St Helens.

The Cultural Hubs team were presented with a National Lottery Awards trophy and attended a glittering awards ceremony in London, which was broadcast on BBC One in September. Watch Cultural Hubs on National Lottery Stars 2016.


Actor Ralf Little presents National Lottery award to the Cultural Hubs team at St Helens Central Library


Councillor Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, with responsibility for libraries, arts and culture, said:

“We're extremely honoured and proud that our Cultural Hubs – Arts in Libraries programme has received so much support in the National Lottery Awards from the borough and beyond. Over the past couple of years, Lottery money distributed through Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts (Libraries) fund has really helped us to provide a varied programme of brilliant cultural activities across our library network.

“St Helens is a shining example of how the arts can be used to enliven library spaces. I’d like to thank everyone who helped us win by promoting and voting for our nomination, and the library and arts services for their dedication and passion."

Cultural Hubs

Cultural Hubs is a programme of arts in St Helens Libraries featuring theatre, dance, gigs, poetry readings, workshops, exhibitions and films.

Working across the network of 13 libraries in the borough, we offer something for all ages.

Download the latest version of the Cultural Hubs Programme or view the Programme online.

To keep up to date with upcoming events:

Cultural Hubs is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. 

A photograph of the theatre performance, I Believe in Unicorns by Wizard Presents theatre company performed at Newton le Willows Library. The woman actor in the photograph is balancing on a large pile on books as if climbing onto a horse. Other stacks of books surround her. The photograph was taken by Karen Thornburn. 

Creative Alternatives - Arts Programme for Adults.           

Creative Alternatives is an award-winning arts and well-being programme for people living in St.Helens experiencing stress, anxiety or depression. Creative Alternatives offers a regular programme of visual arts and creative writing activities that can help to rebuild your confidence and improve your mental well-being.

Whilst creativity is at the heart of what we do the emphasis is on enjoying yourself, meeting new people and having some time to relax.

Once referred on to the Creative Alternatives programme you can take part in a weekly group for up to 12 weeks. Our workshops are led by trained artists who will support and guide you through a creative process using a variety of artistic techniques, creating a relaxing space with friendly faces and a time that’s just about you.

You can take part in Creative Alternatives if you are:  • Aged 18+, • Living or accessing healthcare in St.Helens, • Experiencing mild-moderate stress, depression and/or anxiety, • Keen to improve your well-being and feel able can make a regular commitment to a weekly group, • Prepared to attend the workshops independently and work within a group setting.

Activities Include: Creative writing, Drawing, Woodwork, Painting, Sculpture.
FREE - For more details and to book onto the taster sessions email helen@creativealternatives.org.uk

Arts Award

As part of our Cultural Hubs programme, St.Helens Libraries support young people in undertaking the nationally recognised arts award. Arts Award is a range of unique qualifications that support young people under 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to take part in the wider arts world by taking challenges in any arts or media activity. Trained Arts Award advisers based across St.Helens network of libraries guide and support young people in gaining arts experiences towards their nationally recognised awards.

We are really please to announce that Natalie Bennison, a young person currently being supported through St.Helens Libraries to complete the Silver Arts Award, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the New Settings Award category at the North West Cultural Education Awards 2017 - GOOD LUCK NATALIE!

Natalie had started writing a blog about the arts scene in St.Helens - which you can see here: The Art Bulletin.

If you are interested in taking part in the Award please contact kathrynboothroyd@sthelens.gov.uk for more information and to sign up!