Swinton Young Artists at Sheffield Waterfront Festival

Four young people from Swinton Lock Activity Centre spent summer 2019 researching the industrial heritage of the Dearne Valley and made sculptures inspired by their findings. Their artwork was installed on boats at the 2019 Sheffield Waterfront Festival which is an popular annual weekend event organised by Canal and River Trust and attended by thousands of visitors.

Swinton Lock Activity Centre and Sheffield and Victoria Quays, Sheffield

Summer 2019

In summer 2019 the Igniters researched history local to Swinton and the surrounding areas. They used this information to inform an art project decided to create 3-D sculptures to exhibit at the Waterfront Festival in Sheffield during September 2019.

The group were highly motivated, self-directed and worked diligently through the summer to create slightly larger than life size characters out of variety of mediums. One of the characters was a fisherman and the other a coal miner.

The completed sculptures were transported by water along the River Don Navigation to Sheffield on one of Swinton Lock Activity Centre’s boats, Spirit. They were then displayed on top of the boat over the festival weekend. The sculpture attracted festival goers to the boat to find out about more about Swinton Lock Activity Centre and in particular about Ignite Yorkshire from the artists themselves.


  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Working in a team
  • Decision-making
  • Research
  • Interpreting heritage
  • Event production