Student Successes

Unique Student Business is off the rails

One of Darwen’s famous old landmarks is to become a thriving community art business, operated and managed by entrepreneurial students of the Academy.   The former tram-stop and listed building at Darwen Circus will become the ‘Off The Rails’ gallery, displaying and selling student artwork and hand-made goods such as jewellery and sculptures.  

During the summer months, the building will receive a major facelift to transform it into a fully operating student-run business, where Academy students will have a genuine opportunity to put their entrepreneurial skills into practice.    This is all thanks to some opportunist work from a group of eight Year 10 and 11 Academy students and staff who were involved in submitting a £35,000 bid for LEGI (Local Enterprise Growth Initiative) funding. 

Following an interview before a panel of judges, the students were instrumental in securing the funding which will now be used to convert the disused building.   Students will host a different art exhibition each month and a commission from all goods sold will be reinvested into the business to ensure it is sustainable.  

Year 10 student, Gemma Tomlinson, said “I am really passionate about art, so to have the opportunity to get involved in this project is great.  I am looking forward to working with the other students to bring our new business to life. When we are working in the shop and managing our new business we will be able to take what we have learnt in entrepreneurship classes and put it in practice.”