Line-up of cultural events will help towns and high streets come alive

EU European Regional Development Fund and HM Government logos

A lively and engaging cultural events programme showcasing the wealth of local talent will bring life to towns across Cornwall over the next three months to help revitalise high streets and support local businesses.

Bunting of various colours in the sky


Wholly funded by the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund, the programme will celebrate the unique selling points and cultural heritage of those towns taking part: Bodmin, Camelford, Hayle, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Mevagissey, Newquay, St Austell and Wadebridge.

Designed in partnership with participating towns with residents’ interests top of mind, the cultural programme will also give a wide range of local up-and-coming artists the opportunity to perform regularly and gain public recognition.

The diverse timetable of events being planned will include new arts, cultural, creative and free moving collaborative experiences such as music, dance, temporary art installations, audio-visual experiences and town trails.

Following an open tender process, Truro-based Hall for Cornwall has been commissioned to manage, coordinate and deliver the £175,000 programme.

Stephen Rushworth, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy, said: “This exciting new cultural events’ programme funded by the ERDF Welcome Back Fund provides a great opportunity to help attract people back to our high streets, encourage them to stay longer and boost interest in some of our less visited towns.

“Our towns are busy with all sorts of plans to rekindle the spirit of their high streets. Creating a thriving, sustainable Cornwall for all within vibrant, safe and supportive communities, is top of mind for everyone. Culture can have a significant social and economic impact on places and that’s why we are backing Cornwall to be City of Culture in 2025.

“We are confident that this locally relevant programme will play a valuable role towards the economic recovery of our town centres and address the changing use of our high streets. The transformation of our towns into vibrant hubs of creative interest and future activity has a big role to play in achieving this.”

To maximise the impact of the limited funding and avoid duplication of common themes, Cornwall Council is also using part of the Welcome Back Fund to trial a Town Trail app and commission a number of strategic Covid recovery plans for those towns which have shown interest.

These, together with the legacy toolkit and learnings of best practice from the cultural events’ programme, will afterwards be made available to any town or parish council in Cornwall that wishes to take advantage of the insights that will have been gained.

In total, all 20 town and parish councils which expressed an interest in boosting the look and feel of their areas have been allocated a share of the £609,639 ERDF Welcome Back Fund available to Cornwall Council.

They will use this to further reinvigorate their town centres, and plan new outdoor events to give people safer and more attractive options to meet with friends and relatives.

Story posted January 17, 2022

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