CULTURE Weston and Theatre Orchard have announced that they have merged together to create Super Culture.

The merger indicates an exciting change and a range of world-class festivals, events and live performances.

It is hoped that, by combining the two, local communities will have the chance to connect and get creative.

Established as a charity in 2007, Theatre Orchard started out as a short term project to support performing arts in the region. It soon became North Somerset’s first Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) in 2018.

Since becoming a NPO, Theatre Orchard’s programme has reached 125,000 people, created paid opportunities for over 400 artists, presented more than 160 productions, 8 festivals, 28 new work commissions and worked with 6,000 people through creative engagement. 

In 2022, the organisers secured funding from the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio for 2023-2026, which allowed them to have an even deeper impact.

Super Culture will supercharge existing creative provision in rural areas and neighbouring coastal towns.

Fiona Matthews, creative director at Super Culture, said: “It has been amazing to be part of the Theatre Orchard journey, since it was founded sixteen years ago. 

"Through both Theatre Orchard and Culture Weston we have helped to shift perceptions about what culture can mean to a place as somewhere to live, work, visit and play!

"We hold firm to our central commitments around inclusion and excellence as we move forward under one Super Culture banner which joyfully encapsulates the creative energy that is flourishing in Weston and North Somerset right now.” 

Angela Hicks, chair of Board of Trustees for Super Culture, said: “North Somerset is fast becoming known for its distinctive and uplifting cultural life and the new brand name encapsulates this energy.

"Super Culture combines people powered creativity with outstanding international programming to produce a cultural offer with something to surprise and involve everyone - from sublime street art and world class contemporary dance on the beach to climate carnivals, synchronised swimming, poetry slams, feral gardening, community cooking and more.”

Super Culture has a packed programme for September and October, kicking off with the Whirligig international festival of outdoor arts on September 9-10 in Weston-super-Mare.

See the full season programme on the Super Culture website.