Sillitoe Trail

What is The Space?

The Space is a project funded by the Arts Council in collaboration with the BBC. On 1 May it will go live online at until 31 October. The project is seeking creative output produced in a variety of formats that can be accessed via tablets, mobile phones or the red button on your TV. The aim of the project is to bring arts organisations into the 21st century so that they are equipped with the skills to reach a broader audience and to take advantage of the different possibilities offered by emerging technologies.

There were over 800 applicants for the project, of which 53 were granted funding. The Alan Sillitoe Committee was one of these for a project called Sillitoe: Then and Now. We were the only literature organisation outside of London to be selected and stand proudly next to Faber and Faber and the London Review of Books.


The Alan Sillitoe Committee - ArtworkSillitoe and the art of life cycle maintenance.

2012 is an important year for Nottingham. It marks the 125th anniversary of the Raleigh Bicycle Company as well as the 50th anniversary of the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. To celebrate this we will produce a mobile phone app of Sillitoe’s Nottingham that visits key locations from the novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Users get to navigate the App from the perspective of the two swaddies chasing Arthur Seaton around town. Each location along the trail also has a particular theme to engage the reader. We’ve done this in the hope that it will attract new audiences to the novel who may have been put off by something too prescriptive.

We will also be producing an authentic, 1950s style Raleigh manual that details the literary trail. We’re calling it a ‘physical book with a digital heart’ as it will literally write itself as the project goes along, dependent upon content generated on The Space. We have  graphic design students from NCN illustrating each location, five specially commissioned writers addressing key themes from the book, Confetti recording podcasts and many other forms of collaboration that are allowing this seminal text to be re-imagined in the 21st century.

You can help support this project by visiting us on The Space. Or by joining Arthur Seaton on Twitter, doing more than liking us on facebook and by uploading content on the Sillitoetrail. These are changing times and we are in the fortunate position of being guinea pigs in a trial that will determine the future shape of broadcasting. If you’re out for a good time, come and join us.

We will be launching our Sillitoe Trail App at Sillitoe Day at the Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday 27 October with guest speaker Billy Ivory. To buy tickets and support our statue fund, please see here for more info.