-New short films give insight into passengers and staff behind Kirklees train network-
Intercity Train operator First TransPennine Express has partnered with West Yorkshire’s Arts Council England funded Creative People and Places programme, Creative Scene, to produce a series of short films capturing the thoughts of its customers and employees as part of its ongoing community engagement projects.
The films, which take a behind-the-scenes look at the daily lives of the train operator’s staff and customers travelling its routes, form part of an ongoing community engagement programme of activity designed to promote creativity through the arts, and engage the local communities in which it operates.
Focusing on FTPE’s Huddersfield to Leeds route, which is used by more than 350,000 customers every year, Creative Scene commissioned four professional film makers to travel along the line over four weeks in Autumn, capturing behind-the-scenes dialogue and interaction with staff and customers after being given an open ‘ticket to ride’ by the train operator.
The resulting short films feature an insight into the expressive thoughts of commuters and demonstrate the complexities of maintaining FTPE’s daily train network across Kirklees and beyond.
The films were screened to stakeholders at the First TransPennine Express training and development centre, ‘The Hub’, in Huddersfield on 17 March, ahead of being shared at additional venues and festivals across Kirklees over the coming months.
Kate Lamb, Community and Business Improvement Manager at First TransPennine Express, commented: “We have supported local communities in various ways since the start of our franchise in 2004. This project provides a unique perspective on the journey of one of our key commuter routes, and working alongside Creative Scene to involve our customers and employees with the project allows us to inspire and promote creativity and encourage more people to become involved with future projects.
“Our reputation as a good neighbour and an active community partner is important to our employees, stakeholders and customers, and is therefore at the heart of the business.”
The project – titled ‘The Next Station Will Be…’ follows a run of successful arts engagement collaborations between First TransPennine Express and Creative Scene that have taken place over the last year across West Yorkshire train stations including Dewsbury and Batley.
Funded by Arts Council England, the Creative People and Places programme is an arts and social change initiative designed to engage new audiences and participants in the arts in parts of the UK where existing involvement is significantly below the national average.
Nancy Barrett, Director at Creative Scene, said: “We started the Creative People and Places project in 2014 with an investment of £2m and are aiming to develop a cultural infrastructure locally that is responsive to the current economic climate, finds new ways to be sustainable- and takes risks in the ways we present work, commissioning a whole range of arts activities from performance to digital arts that is relevant to audiences in our area.
Partnering with like-minded organisations such as First TransPennine Express gives us the platforms that have enabled us to present high quality arts events to over 10,000 new arts audiences in the places where they live, work and socialise- whilst helping First TransPennine Express to deliver an engaging, creative and successful on-going stakeholder relations strategy.”
The film can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/144060482