Portals 16

Arising from a 15 year history in creative community development, we believe that creativity and innovation can help address important issues such as community cohesion and civic participation.   

We work with people at FACT, across Merseyside and beyond to partake in digital and artistic processes, creating social capital and skills. Within this work we are particularly interested in working with older people, and supporting co-production.

Recent community projects have been in collaboration with Magenta Living, Liverpool Mutual Homes and Rotunda. 

tenantspin Expo 3

We specialise in working with older people to overcome digital illiteracy through creative experiences. We have worked extensively in sheltered Accommodation creating bespoke projects with artists, residents and housing providers which have shown tangible benefits for older people working with iPads and other technologies.

"If more older people got involved with learning about using things like ipad it would help with feeling like your slowing down its good to keep your brain active. Its not good to get set in your ways." Joan Gaskell, Project Participant

"Older people think working with technology will go right over the heads but you find that once you start doing you find it isn’t that frightening." Project Participant

"When you get older, even your children treat you differently. I was the one who showed my son how to do his homework and now he has to show me. Its like a role reversal. You still you – you don’t age in your mind – I’m still 21 in the head" Project Participant

Laura Blog Pic

FACT believes that in order to provide the best experience of our building we sometimes need to take our building to people. Through the community programme, we develop outreach projects with artists and community partners which develop links with FACT in the neighbourhoods of Liverpool and beyond.

"It stops you from vegetating. Gives you something to do and gets you away from watching the TV." Carol, Project Participant

"We’ve been learning things we’d never have known about. It gives you a new perspective on life and a new way of communicating with people." Maureen & Anne, Project Participants


tenantspin was a unique 12-year old creative technology programme which achieved international recognition and acclaim.

tenantspin operated under the premise that creativity and innovation could help address important issues such as community cohesion and civic participation - the project encouraged residents across Merseyside to partake in democratic and cultural processes, creating a social value structure where creativity is seen as an alternative value system for people who are living their lives outside of working environments (elderly people, young people, young parents, people who are unable to work, long-term unemployed).

tenantspin began as a one-off project against the backdrop of a very defined issue in late 1990s Liverpool, 'what happens when you break up Liverpool's tower block community and relocate thousands of pensioners into new houses and schemes?'. A group of dedicated residents worked with Danish Artist collective Superflex to develop a framework through which to represent their views in relation to this subject. The project was a success and quickly grew beyond the 'tower block agenda' to became a very powerful platform within social housing circles and cultural agendas. 

The project continued to work with housing associations long after the tower block discussion had finished, championing the partnership of two very different sectors – arts and housing and working with residents to develop new skills and find their voice.

As a participatory project tenantspin pioneered the use of technology and online spaces as a place for communication and e-democracy long before live video streaming and social media was common-place.

tenantspin ended in 2012 but from the many lessons learned from the project grew FACT’s Community Programme which builds on tenantspin’s pioneering work with older people and adults.

You view the video archive of the project here: youtube.com/user/tenantspin

and the archived website of the project here: tenantspin.org