the portland inn project

The Portland Inn Project CIC is a creative arts project for a community in Stoke On Trent with an aim to achieve community cohesion, economic, social and cultural development by involving the community in development of a pioneering community space, cultural hub and social enterprise.

The Portland Inn Project CIC (PIPCIC) is cited as an exemplar project of people led change, in an underrepresented part of the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

In 2016 The project delivered an ACE funded Summer programme; testing future uses of an old pub building before its community asset transfer in 2018. In the same year, the project ran Raise The Roof, to co-build a temporary space with Baxendale Architects. The space and its ACE funded programme was shortlisted for The RIBA MacEwen Award, recognising ‘Architecture for the common good’.

PIPCIC was the recipient of the Cultural Champions of the Year at the BBC Stoke Make a Difference Awards, 2019.

Since 2019, PIPCIC has been working within the Local Trust Creative Civic Change programme, and have been able to deliver a community-based year-round calendar of activity and skills development with and for the Portland Street area from The Pippin, an adapted shipping container. In addition to delivering a rich programme, we are raising funds for a long term community resource and building.

The Portland Inn Project Diaries

Central to our programming are creative and community organisation activities. Key themes include self-representation (using methods such as film, animation, design and printing). We deliver to all ages, with sports and dance workshops also being available to the young people in the area. Learning and exchanging transferable skills is another area we are developing with community members; something that happens through the development of projects such as the Portland Pigeon. Another vital strand to our project is developing skills in the community (social organising, cooking, gardening), which can support activity and events and help the project to thrive. This stream of work is about long-term sustainability, development of core and embedded skills for the future of the project and the community.

The Portland Campaign

This is a collaborative delivery led by artists Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies with ceramic artist Alice Thatcher and residents of Portland Street and the surrounding streets.

The project is supported by Creative Civic Change, AirSpace Gallery, Appetite, My Community Matters, Arts Council England and Stoke City Council.