1798866_10100830236218995_1125109653860189238_nA local outdoor arts company has just revealed plans for a creative woodland start up space with a twist which will open its doors this spring.

This will provide free working spaces in a tree house and vintage caravans for aspiring artists in the Staffordshire and Stoke area to develop their talents in the inspiring Whirligig Woods near Rode Hall. Wild Rumpus, Organisers of the acclaimed ‘Just So’ Festival, will open this facility, called ‘The Forge’, in April.

The Whirligig, attached to the Rode Hall estate is already the home to Wild Rumpus, who work there year round from a converted horsebox and have seen remarkable benefits from working in the outdoors. The artistic directors of Wild Rumpus conceived the idea for the Forge as a means to foster the work of artists and performers and provide opportunities for them to stay within the local area.

Sarah Bird, Wild Rumpus director said:

‘As a company we are passionate about raising the profile of outdoor arts events within the North West of the Country. The Forge allows us to support this by offering its participants the time and inspirational environment to develop and implement their practice without having to leave the region.’

The Forge will be supported by public funding from Arts Council England and will offer a countryside alternative to the predominately urban creative start-ups.

forge2The Forge starts this year and will run from April until September 2015. During this time the chosen participants will be able to take advantage of a number of training, mentoring and workshop opportunities run by Wild Rumpus and arts organisations and practitioners as well as gaining their Gold Level Arts Award.

The work developed at the Forge will also feed into upcoming Wild Rumpus events such as ‘The Lost Carnival’ and ‘The Just So Festival’ through paid commissions and freelance work.

Applications for the Forge are now open and more information and details of how to apply can be found at http://www.wildrumpus.org.uk/the-forge-residency/