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  • Global Leeds

Inspiring new French connections in Seacroft

Radio Moulins and the We are Seacroft network air their street radio broadcast about their neighbourhoods’ shared interests (Photo credit: We Are Seacroft)

With the support of the International Relations Departments of Leeds City Council and Ville de Lille, a group from the We Are Seacroft Collective visited Lille in May 2023 to explore how much Seacroft has in common with two Lille neighbourhoods, Moulins and Fives, and can become partners in a variety of grassroots arts and social change projects and exchanges of people.

During the visit in May 2023, staff from LS14 Trust, Fall into Place Theatre and Chapel FM Arts Centre had the chance to encounter Fives and Moulins and a range of activities including:

The Bal à Fives - a project to promote the renewal of the neighbourhood of Fives in Lille through a range of exciting multidisciplinary cultural programmes that reflect its cultural diversity and which build on the principles of the UN’s Agenda 21 for Culture.

  • The project has engaged the residents of Fives in the development of the programme

  • The programme has embedded cultural sustainability at its heart and promotes good practices in terms of sustainable events.

  • The project has restored and brought back in to use the disused Fives Dance Hall for a regular series of events that have been very effective in incouraging interaction between difference social and generational groups

  • The Bals à Fives have become in a few years one of Lille's unmissable events.

  • During their visit, the Seacroft visitors explored how that event might be a model for similar happenings in Seacroft.

Visionary grassroots food projects such as Cuisine Commune, Attacafa, and Oh My Good! where they learned about ways of growing food in challenging urban spaces using techniques like aquaponics and how cooking classes can bring people together and help confront the cost of living crisis.

The community media project Radio Moulins, where they teamed up with staff and community participants to create an impromptu radio show about feminism and teenage life using the radio station’s brilliant velo radio or radio bike. The radio broadcast of that can be heard here ADD AUDIO LINK to radio programme.

Lots of informal community chats with residents from the neighbourhoods of Fives and Moulins, where they shared stories about Seacroft and began to discover more parallels between the places.

The intention is for teenagers from Seacroft to travel to Lille later in 2023 as part of the ongoing development of this inter-neighbourhood relationship.

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