A CREATIVE project hailed as the most ambitious campaign of its kind to be held in St Helens wants to hear ideas from local artists. Heart of Glass, a two-and-a-half year scheme backed by £1.5m of Arts Council England funding, aims to create a unique programme of ambitious, high quality artworks and events.

Traditionally, St Helens has been a place with a low uptake in the arts.

But that is precisely why the money has been given to the town – and by building a project around glass and rugby league, pillars of St Helens heritage, it is hoped the public’s imagination will be captured.

Organisers, who held the launch at the World of Glass on Saturday, hope the turnout of youngsters, which soared after publicity in the Star, at Saturday morning arts workshops run at St Mary’s Market event is an early sign that there is an enthusiastic audience out there.

The long term vision is to grow the appetite for the arts, create an active local creative sector and build enduring relationships with local, national and international artists and organisations.

The next step is to secure a series of micro-commissions for small, but ambitious arts projects to develop local creative community in St Helens.

Greg Pennington, a Heart of Glass spokesman, said: “We want to hear from artists and groups working in any art form – music, dance, theatre, visual arts, digital, creative writing, or a mixture – as well as from groups who are not arts-led, but have ideas for engaging local people in arts activities.

“Heart of Glass is not a children and young people’s project, so we are unlikely to commission a project that focuses only on this age group. We’d be more likely to support projects engaging different generations, or those involving family groups.”

Micro-commissions of between £50 and £2,000 are available. Commissions totalling around £6,000 will be awarded in this first call.

Deadline for applications is Friday, June 13.

Informal ‘surgeries’ with creative producers are being held today, Thursday, between 3pm and 7pm, at The World of Glass, Chalon Way, and on Thursday, June 5, at Cinema Bar, 132 Duke Street. Book a 20 minute slot by contacting info@heartof glass.org.uk.