Bluecoat Display Centre promotes learning in craft from the classroom and throughout adult life to secure the future of craft education.

In the gallery, through our artistic activity, Bdc aims to bring together makers and the public in an environment that encourages creativity, collaboration and the exchange of ideas: we are an advocate, facilitator and audience maker for contemporary crafts.

Bdc have established working relationships with colleges and universities across the North West focusing on professional development support for 3D design undergraduates.

Through our partnership with Liverpool Hope University’s Creative Campus we’ve worked with the Crafts Council on the Hothouse programme for emerging makers, and the Next Move artist’s residence scheme for new graduates. Both our organisations are committed to seeing the next generation of craft makers being given maximum experience and learning to prepare for their future careers and job opportunities.

The relationship between Bdc and Hope has also resulted in international contemporary craft residencies, which have greatly benefited both the individual artists participating in focused development time and the students experiencing professional working practice.

Bdc also partners with health and social care organisations to deliver a programme of high-quality craft workshops, led by professional local makers, aimed at engaging young people, vulnerable adults and isolated members of our local community, and demonstrating the benefits that craft activity can have on health and well-being.

Please visit our Projects page to find out more.

Image: Materials and artwork examples for a textile workshop with Michael Brennand-Wood at a local secondary school.


Supporting information & exhibition tours

Our exhibitions cover the full spectrum of contemporary making from the traditional to the cutting edge, with learning at the core of the exhibition programme. To promote and enable an understanding of contemporary applied art and craft, our education programme includes:

Interpretation panels written to enhance our visitors’ experience and to inform art and design students of the curatorial considerations of exhibitions and the backgrounds of the participating artists. Copies of the information, artists’ statements, etc. are available in the Exhibitions section of our website.

Exhibition tours are free of charge, although booking is advisable. We are delighted to accommodate visiting groups including schools and colleges to our exhibitions at no charge (maximum number: 10 per talk). Email for details.

External talks / Visiting lectures

These are given regularly by key staff members at Colleges and Universities on a wide variety of topics including: marketing work to galleries, curating exhibitions, creative and professional development and current trends in the contemporary crafts.

Young graduates and emerging artists

Bluecoat Display Centre offer one-to-one professional development help for early and mid-career makers. These 30 minute portfolio sessions offer critical feedback or career development advice, and with guidance participants will create an action plan.

To be eligible for an advice session, you must be: working in the contemporary craft field; early or mid-stage career; and based in the North West of England.

Makers should bring with them their CV, images of their work, price lists and small examples of their work.

For more information and to book a session, please email with details of what you do and where you feel you need support.

Outreach work

Bluecoat Display Centre has an ongoing programme of outreach work, engaging under-represented groups in craft activities and demonstrating the benefits that craft can have on health and wellbeing.

Images: Ceramic (Attila Olah) and textiles (Rachael Howard) workshops for art and design teachers.



Bluecoat Display Centre can advise, liaise and place leading makers and applied artists in schools for children’s hands-on educational workshops and talks. Contact for details.

For further information on forthcoming educational events please visit our What’s On page.

Image: Members of the public view a legacy artwork by Verity Pulford installed at the Walton Centre, as part of a study trip in 2019. Photography by Pam Seale.