A new project has launched in Cumbria that connects actors and writers with roots in the area to help keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown.

Knock and Nash Productions, a Cumbrian arts group, has set up the #CreateCollabCumbria project in absence of their planned summer tour.

The aim is to bring together local talent on a platform that celebrates the literary masterpieces coming out of the county whilst theatres are under lockdown.

Professional actor Jordan Tweddle, 23, who has spearheaded the project, said: “We’re trying to raise the profile of Cumbrian talent.

“The Cumbrian voice doesn’t often get representation in the arts, even how we sound, the Cumbrian accent, you don’t often hear it.

“I think in times like this it’s really important to create a platform for the talent that we have here in Cumbria.

“There is so much talent here in Cumbria. It’s important to harvest that, and show how great we are.

“The talent here in Cumbria doesn’t always get the representation it needs.”

Jordan, originally from Wigton, said that with the coronavirus lockdown creating significant disruption in the arts world, it was perhaps more important than ever to make sure the acting and writing talent in Cumbria is nurtured, and given the space it needs to flourish.

The project, which has been running for two weeks, has local actors performing pieces that have been written by local authors.

Jordan, whose recent acting roles has taken him across the country, said this Cumbria-focused project was a welcome opportunity to return to his “Cumbrian roots”.

He said it was important to help foster the talent found throughout Cumbria, especially given the fact that the more limited opportunities for those in the arts often prompts those in the creative world to leave Cumbria.

“We are slightly cut off from everything here,” Jordan said.

“The hub is obviously London, and Manchester is up-and-coming a lot more now. But there’s still a lot of distance there.

“The majority of actors I know have to move to create work, because the jobs are elsewhere.”

Jordan hopes that this project may help to strengthen the network of those in the arts world in Cumbria, which in itself may lead to more success through collaboration.

He also hopes to continue the project for as long as possible.

“Obviously we don’t know how things are going to turn out with lockdown,” he said.

“But we want Cumbrian writers and actors to get in touch, so that we can continue. We know the talent’s here, it’s just finding a way to engage.

“As long as we’ve got the quality talent and the quality writing coming in, we will continue for as long as we can.

“Wherever possible, we are trying to use local talent. Everyone we’ve worked with on this project so far either live here or were born here, or have a Cumbrian connection."

Eight videos have been shared so far on YouTube with performers such as Daneka Etchells, Em Rydal, and Kerry Willison-Parry taking to the camera, as well as Jordan himself.

The videos are posted daily at 2pm from Monday to Thurday.

Any writer or actor who would like to get involved with the project should email hello@knockandnash.co.uk.