Wirral Arts and Culture Community Land Trust (WACCLT) is a charitable community benefit society set up to deliver:
• ambitious, creative, and transformational arts programming which enhances the health and wellbeing of the people of the Wirral
• facilities, resources and work opportunities for Wirral artists and creatives to flourish on the Wirral
• affordable, supportive, and sustainable housing and studio space which supports Wirral artists and creatives to thrive.
WACCLT is the first Arts and Culture Community Land Trust to be established in the UK and is a member-driven and democratic organisation. Our initial project, Ron’s Place, will be used to shape the vision and longer-term strategy of WACCLT.
Ron Gittins was a complex and colourful character, known to many in his neighbourhood of Birkenhead. After Ron died in late 2019, aged 79, his family went to clear his rented flat. When they stepped across the threshold, they were astonished to discover Ron had transformed his home into his very own, highly ornate, classical ‘villa’, covering almost every surface with murals and sculptures.
Ron’s Place is a unique UK example of a ‘visionary environment’: an immersive space usually created over a long period and often single-handedly. In this case, Ron spent 33 years developing a world he wished to inhabit. Although examples of such environments can be found in various places around the globe, few are as detailed, holistic, and compelling as Ron’s Place.
Unfettered by convention and social norms, Ron created spaces that speak differently to everyone who experiences them. Yet, the raw individuality and single-mindedness on show is always captivating and inspirational; a potent example of how someone without specialist training or equipment can express themselves in myriad ways, helping to give shape and meaning to their life, whilst communicating something undeniably powerful in the process.
Ron’s Place is a unique resource. The opportunity to save it and create a stimulating, positive legacy for the Wirral and the wider community is an opportunity not to be missed. We will use Ron’s Place and Ron’s story to inspire and empower.
Harnessing the Power of Ron’s Place
Using what Ron created, as well as his story, our aim is to deliver a dynamic and transformational legacy to his work; one that enables and encourages creativity in others as a mechanism towards improved well-being and mental health. Delivered primarily through a programme of high-quality and diverse engagement through art across different media, Ron’s Place will become a catalyst for positive change in Birkenhead and across Wirral.