Arts & Creatives Group

Summary of discussions and activities

Chair – Matt Burke

Meetings of the Arts and Creatives Group are held on the third Wednesday of each month at No 98 Highgate at 7.00 pm.

The meetings are open to all.  Please contact Nick Taylor to join and receive meeting reminders.

This is a fairly new group with the first meeting held in April 2023, and it is very well attended by a knowledgeable and passionate group of people including visual artists,  graphic designers, film makers, photographers, performing artists and education and museum professionals.   They have informally worked in these ‘sub sector’ groups for some meetings and discussed their needs and aspirations for their sector.

The group has discussed and agreed their priorities and how they can provide support to the sector and one another.   They have also identified some of the issues they face and what they would like to see in the town, which included:

  • To see more affordable exhibition space
  • Encourage more affordable children’s art and performing arts groups
  • Improve pathways into the creative sector for aspiring young, and not so young, artists.
  • Community art around the town in the way of murals and temporary installations.
  • More support in engaging with cultural venues and organisations in the town.
  • More availability of temporary spaces in the town for exhibitions, including the ‘meanwhile’ use of empty shops.
  • Support for peer support and mentor business advice
  • Access to shared spaces to collaborate and work together.
  • More affordable spaces for housing and workshops.
  • Improved access to networking opportunities.
  • More involvement with, and funding for, local events and festivals, recognising that they generate increased footfall and spending in the town centre.
  • A recurring issue was highlighted as the high cost of Public Liability Insurance, particularly for younger people.


The third meeting on 21st June was a fascinating information session about AI (artificial intelligence).  A local blues musician challenged Matt, the Chair, to compose a song using AI about a random topic – Jacob Rees Mogg – and the speed of response and lyrics were amazing.  However, it did take three attempts to get a sufficiently ‘scratchy’ blues sound.

Collaboration with other Action Groups in future will be encouraged.

Meeting dates

No meetings will be held in July and August so the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20 September at 7.00pm at 98 Highgate.

See the full list of meeting dates.

There is a Facebook group to support communication between the Arts & Creatives Action Group members.  You can request to join it here!