A ‘ST HELENS ALBUM’ featuring collaborations between one of the town’s top bands and other local musicians is one of the projects that will be brought to life under the ambitious Heart of Glass arts scheme.

Nine artists and groups have successfully secured ‘micro commission’ funding as part of the campaign that aims to create a programme of quality and unique artworks and events that celebrate the town’s identity.

Funded by Arts Council England, the hope is to engage thousands of people who have never been involved in the arts to celebrate what is distinct about St Helens over the next three years.

From the 39 applications which were received, the successful were: The Loungs, Jonathan Parker, The Cowley Singers, Vox Voices, Art Club St Helens, Paint Pots, Haydock Band, the UC Crew and Angela Wilkinson.

The groups will look to bring their visions to reality with a range of activities including public art, dance, music, theatrical displays, creative writing, digital and visual arts to be on the agenda in the coming months.

The artists will now continue to work with Heart of Glass before their projects entertain the people of St Helens.

It is hoped the projects will quicken the artistic pulse of the town with workshops, a flash mob choir and artistic talent visiting the region to inspire the local art scene.

Established St Helens band The Loungs is using the Heart of Glass commission to produce ‘The St Helens Album’ collaborating with different musicians from around the town.

And band member Martin Wells is looking forward to getting involved. “The Heart of Glass has put us in contact with like-minded creative souls within our town. We’re looking forward to meeting and building relationships with musicians on our very own doorstep.

“With a sense of fun, adventure, and a little bit of patience, we can hopefully make a wonderful racket!”

Meanwhile, breakdancers UC Crew are hoping to develop some hip-hop theatre by working with an industry leading theatre company.

“We attended the launch at The World of Glass and soon realised the whole project is going to be fantastic for St Helens.

“Our plan is to work with a theatre company and develop some entertaining hip-hop theatre.

“We are testing new ground and it’s great to be working with other talented groups.”