• Helping Cumbrian Primary school children to Dream BIG.


The Laal Collective

The Laal Collective

Part of what the Primary Business Partnership aims to do is forge links with local businesses and primary schools. We’ve worked collaboratively with Laal Collective, a small, recently launched arts organisation in Cumbria. By working together we’ve been able to develop their offerings by sharing our knowledge and helping to forge develop relationships with local primary schools.

The Laal Collective was set up in 2021 as an arts organisation delivering work in schools and communities. Although directors, Vicki Maxfield and Ali McCaw have extensive experience in delivering and managing projects it’s always a challenge for funders to fund new organisations.

“To have the support of the Primary Business Partnership (PBP) through the CforLP has really helped us both in terms of funders but also being introduced to schools. Our first major project, The Sands of Time, for which we received funding from The Heritage Fund and The Frances C Scott Trust came into being by Claire introducing us to the Maryport cluster of schools. Throughout the project they have continued their support through social media, again this is invaluable for us, as it helps to raise our profile. PBP has also funded us to work with 3 schools to create an online project exploring the Vikings. This will be available to all primary schools across Cumbria.”

The Sands of Time- how a worm can bring together a community.

The tale of a honeycomb worm which lives in the sea along our coastline is bringing local schools together in a shared project after the isolation of COVID.

Primary Business Partnership work closely with schools to broker links between schools and local businesses to support career related learning so were thrilled when we were asked by Maryport cluster of primary schools to support them with a creative project. Primary Business Partnership approached Laal Collective, new arts organisation set up by Ali McCaw, Vicki Maxfield and Lizzie Clapham to help the school cluster to create a project that would bring all the schools together after COVID forced schools to work in isolation.

The outcome of these discussions was the team at Laal Collective developed the ‘Sands of Time’ project which will engage 200 primary pupils from the Maryport School partnership, and be a collaboration between the Laal Collective, the Maryport Cluster, Livings Seas Northwest, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Primary Business Partnership. Thanks to these initial discussions which enabled Laal Collective and partners to develop an offering relevant to young people and aligned with curriculum the project received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Francis C Scott Charitable Trust.

Sands of Time explores the vital role that the honeycomb worms play in the health of our waters as they create small sand structures that protect the coastline from erosion whilst also playing an important role in the ecosystem biodiversity.

The children are currently creating a shared story inspired by Hilda, the honeycomb worm.  The story will pass from school to school each adding their own chapter. Once all the schools have contributed, the children will create shadow puppets to illustrate their chapter of the story and there will be an exhibition of their fantastic art work.

“One of the concerns that the Maryport Cluster of Schools had during COVID 19 was that their children hadn’t been able to be part of their wider community, the schools were unable to meet and share activities and experiences.  This project is a brilliant way of bringing the children and their community together in a creative way whilst exploring and learning about their own local environment and discovering conservation issues on their doorstep.” Melanie Wheatley, Primary Business Partnership