Town Common

February 2020

Transforming a patch of astroturf in the main atrium of The Beacon Shopping Centre, North Shields into a new ‘town common’ for the residents of North Shields and surrounding areas.

Photograph of Town Common

Historically, towns in England were provided with common lands; places of recreation and entertainment, where cultural and natural resources could be shared by all members of a community. Through an ambitious programme of arts, cultural and community activities, collectively North Shields was reimagined through a series of questions and works exploring the role and function of public space in the town.

Our big questions:

  • How do the community feel about North Shields?
  • What do residents normally do in North Shields and where?
  • Where are residents from?
  • Why have residents attended – come the event/ ‘ community conversation’ today?
  • Why is making better use of local spaces important for their community?
  • What new things would residents would like to see in North Shields?
  • Ways to work with community partners (maybe by follow up work canvasing same questions to partners and businesses)

During half term, Helix Arts hosted a series of workshops with artists, performers and community groups. All workshops were free and accessible for a range of different age groups and abilities. Workshops took place within a busy public shopping centre appropriate to this setting.

This week long series of events ran from Monday 17th February until Saturday 22 February 2020, and was supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic volunteers.

Volunteer with Helix Arts

We’re always on the hunt for volunteers, so please drop us a line if you are interested in our activities and want to be involved in future work.


Stephen Pritchard, Business Development Manager

Phone: 07949776566