The Gainsborough Literacy Project

The Gainsborough Literacy Project has been running since 2013. It was developed to  address a lack of provision for the production of local high quality new writing work, a low rate of participation in arts activity and to investigate alternative, creative ways to tackle low levels of literacy amongst Gainsborough residents through the production of theatre. Since inception we have worked with over 300 young literacy learners to co-produce ten new plays which were performed at The Trinity Arts Centre. Each year during the project participants attend the theatre, write short stories, undertake research, develop characters, learn about play structures and forms of theatre, learn how to write and approach dialogue, how to edit scripts and the use of conflict and objectives to drive drama. Once the scripts begin to take shape the young people take a key role in bringing their productions to the stage by casting their plays, creating marketing materials, working with the production designer to create and build the set and attending rehearsals to give feedback to the company of professional actors.

We work closely on the project with Community Learning in Partnership (add web link) who provide a qualified literacy tutor to support young peoples development and Trinity Arts Centre who provide in kind rehearsal and workshop space as well as technical support. 

YP feedback 

‘It has really helped with my anxiety; I would not leave the house before sometimes. Sheffield theatre trip was a big deal but being out my comfort zone has been a positive. GCSE here next year and I would like to be maths teacher’

‘I felt proud of what I had created. The guard was an idea I had, and the set was good, felt proud I had built and painted it.’ 

‘My confidence has improved a lot. I went to Lincoln College interview by myself.
I have a high chance of getting into GCSE pathway. I would not have done it before this work. It was a group interview, but felt more confident I was able to ask questions’ 


To date the project has been funded by Lincolnshire County Council, DJS Arts, The Mighty Creatives, Community First, West Lindsey District Council, Awards for All, Arts Council England, The Trusthouse Foundation and Children in Need. 

We are very pleased to announce that we have received funding from Children in Need to continue the project up until 2022.