Council awarded £50k to put towards developing Weston-super-Mare’s arts and culture scene

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 26 May 2018

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees with Arts Council chief executive Darren Harley. Picture: Eleanor Young

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees with Arts Council chief executive Darren Harley. Picture: Eleanor Young

Eleanor Young

Tens of thousands of pounds have been handed to North Somerset Council to give Weston-super-Mare’s art and culture scene a ‘bright and exciting future’.

The chief executive of Arts Council England described the seaside tourist town as a ‘cultural gem’ which will be a ‘real beacon’ for other places to learn from.

Darren Henley visited the town on Friday to see for himself the level of cultural activity on offer to residents and tourists and to discuss the local authority’s hopes for further development.

North Somerset has been working with Arts Council England South West (ACE SW) for the past two years to explore opportunities for projects and funding for art initiatives.

ACE SW has allocated £50,000 towards establishing a cultural development company for Weston and hopes to develop the town’s cultural image by 2020.

Mr Henley said: “We are really passionate about taking great art and culture to as many people as possible. I have travelled around the country and I always think ‘what is this place going to be famous for?’.

“What you have here is a real sense of opportunity, a sense of playfulness and all the integrity of a lovely historic seaside town.

“I see a very bright and exciting future for Weston built around arts and culture.”

Mr Henley described Weston as an ‘artistic and cultural dream’ and said the arrival of Banksy’s Dismaland in 2015 helped.

MORE: Forgotten Dismaland? Here are all the pictures from Banksy’s exhibition in Weston.

Since the exhibition at the Tropicana, the council says the town has developed its role as a significant arts and culture destination – which has become a key element of North Somerset’s regeneration and growth plans for the town.

He added: “Dismaland was such a fantastic thing for this town – I think everyone heard about it –but now it is about building on that story and that narrative.”

Cllr Nigel Ashton said: “Our vision for Weston is a town which provides the best combination of living, learning and lifestyle. We are making strong progress on all counts with significant investment from both the public and private sector.

“Dismaland showed the world what we are capable of and provided us with a strong legacy for our growing importance in the region’s arts and cultural offer.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said he had seen a lot of progression in the town and the arts and culture scene has helped influence this.

More from Weston Mercury

Traffic is moving slowly this evening (Wednesday) in and around Congresbury due to roadworks.

Read more

Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose has landed a prestigious role in Theresa May’s Government, but within days of taking the post he may have also landed himself in hot water.

Read more

Police have launched an appeal to identify a man in connection with a criminal damage incident which took place in Weston.

Read more
53 minutes ago

The award-winning and critically-acclaimed Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I will be broadcast in Weston after being recorded at London’s iconic Palladium on November 29.

Read more

Items including toothpaste, pens and toys will be gifted to children across the globe this Christmas thanks to youngsters’ donations.

Read more

Burnham Medical Centre is undergoing a major makeover.

Read more

Young carers in North Somerset got the chance to showcase their creative skills by redesigning a party space.

Read more

A father from Winscombe was sentenced to more than three years in prison for a knifepoint robbery of a Weston shop.

Read more

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council have appointed a new town clerk.

Read more

A father ‘struggled’ to care for his son without support for 20 weeks after North Somerset Council failed to provide him with adequate information about carer’s assessments.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists