The Well of the Saints and The End of the Beginning

Creative Shops Project

Creative Shops Project

Creative Shops Programme


A professionally led arts programme which supports communities and traders to reanimate town centres. From 2012 - 2015, we ran The BOX, an empty bank reclaimed as an informal cultural space in Portstewart. This pilot programme had a hugely positive effect on the town and contributed to the establishment of a new cultural identity, bringing substantial economic and social benefits.

With thanks to funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we have been able to extend this programme across Northern Ireland. We collaborate with local community, educational and commercial organisations in towns across Northern Ireland, to deliver innovative and dynamic programmes which transform empty shops into shared creative spaces.

Our latest Shop is in Bushmills!

Portstewart’s Big Telly Theatre Company is delighted to announce their Creative Shops Programme in Ground’s Espresso Bars premises in Bushmills until the end of March. There’ll be lots taking place there, from theatre, music, dance, workshops and performances to art installations, poetry slams, film-making to scientific experiments, heritage projects, and outdoors adventures. The work is loosely themed around ‘journeys’ and we’ll be using maps, history and myth as well as collecting local stories and anecdotes to animate the space. Zoe Seaton, Artistic Director at Big Telly Theatre Company said; “We’re very excited about opening a creative shop in Bushmills. There’s enormous buy in from the community and already lots of groups involved. There are brilliant characters and stories here and so many possibilities! We have lots of ways for you or your group to get involved – email/call us or simply pop in anytime and talk to us about projects you’d like to start or be part of or events you’d like to host – it’s the perfect location for an informal showcase - in previous shops a knitting group has led a yarnbombing project, creative writing groups have projected their work onto the street, we’ve hosted sports, arts and craft demonstrations. We’re particularly keen to support older people to share their skills with the wider community – previous workshops include a farmer using his sheepdog to teach young people about discipline, a WW2 veteran using original sound clips to lead an interactive workshop about war and a brilliant baker telling the story of Hansel and Gretel while creating the witches house with Primary School children. “ Ground Espresso Bars said they are delighted to host Big Telly Theatre Company in their Bushmills premises for the next eight weeks. Ground will re-open again at Easter.

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