Cultural Development News: March 2022

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Don't miss Museum of the Moon in Taunton! Open now until 31st March 2022

Museum of the Moon

Somerset West and Taunton Council has teamed up with UK artist Luke Jerram and St Mary Magdalene Church to bring the Museum of the Moon to Taunton.

Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork which has been seen by over three million people at venues across the world.

Measuring six metres in diameter, the moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.

The exhibition will be at St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton, from 18 to 31 March 2022 and will be free to enter. The venue is also programming its own series of lunar inspired events beneath the moon.

Luke Jerram said: “For most people, this will be their most intimate, personal and closest encounter they will ever have with the Moon. I hope that people in Taunton enjoy the experience.”

For times and further details of the exhibition please visit Museum of the Moon in Taunton

Public Art: Sculpture taking shape

Matt Crabb

Caroline and Chloe from the Cultural Development team visited local chainsaw artist Matthew Crabb's studio who has been commissioned to create a piece of public art for Taunton Town Centre.

The piece of artwork will be made of hard-wearing cedar wood which has been responsibly sourced.

The idea of this artwork stems from SWT needing to remove a Silver Maple tree in Taunton High Street to safeguard pedestrians and nearby properties. The Cultural Development team explored the idea of using the existing Silver Maple tree but, unfortunately, Silver Maple wood is not hard-wearing and wouldn't stand the test of time. SWT have also re-planted 3 new samplings in Victoria Park, Taunton Green and Priorswood Playing Field to replace the felled tree in Taunton High Street (more information can be found here). 

The piece of art will be completed over the next couple of months and we have received planning consent for this to take price of place in Taunton Town Centre - watch this space! 

Matt Crabb 2

Public Art: Debenhams mural installation


A graphical timeline illustrating Taunton’s history from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 20th Century is now being displayed on the front of the former Debenhams store in North Street.

SWT’s Emergency High Street Recovery Group in Taunton, which comprises local business representatives and ward councillors, commissioned the timeline with funding from the Emergency Town Centre Recovery Fund to improve the appearance of the town, attract visitors and boost the local economy.

The timeline has been collated and arranged by the South West Heritage Trust using early oil paintings, watercolours, engravings and vintage photographs within its own archives and that of the Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society.

To best display and show-off the artwork in all its glory, a chain of festoon lighting along the full length of the mural and beyond was also installed, brightly illuminating the entire 62-metre image.

Local production company ‘Bright Blue Light’ suspended hundreds of light bulbs from the overhead canopy and at a total ‘lighting-length’ of 100m, it challenges any other installation as both the longest and now most brightly illuminated in the South West!

Please click here to read the full press release.

Mural 2

Platinum Jubilee Plans - can you help?


We are looking for local business and partners around Taunton Town Centre who would like to be involved in a Platinum Jubilee Beacon Trail from 30th April 22 - 12th June 22.

The trail is an augmented reality trail and an experience where players visit 7 characters that have come to life from Buckingham Palace and are visiting Taunton on a day out! Players, guided by "Sir Barnaby Beacon", visit each character, learning about a different decade in Her Majesty's 70 year reign. 

How does it work?

Players find the locations and scan unique QR codes to collect digital stamps of the characters. Once they have found the character, they can engage with the story, answer questions and choose how it progresses in a "choose your own adventure style". 

We are looking for locations around the town for the trail where vinyl decals can be displayed. We have a marketing toolkit and the locations chosen will be detailed on a digital map of the trail.

(We can also consider any offers of local sponsorship in the form of logos on marketing materials, on the webpage and on the stamps as people collect the characters, however, this is not compulsory if you wish to be considered as a host location).

If you would like further information or to be considered, please email by 8th April 2022.

Beacon Trail

SWT Cultural Forum: March 2022

Cultural Forum

Many thanks to those of you who attended the most recent SWT Cultural Forum held on Thursday 3rd March 2022, we hope you found the event useful and informative.

As discussed, we will be setting up additional thematic sub-groups in the next month or so to promote collaboration, engagement and to share information on the specific topics that you have identified as most important:

  • Creative People (to also encompass Health, Wellbeing, Youth, Employment and Skills) – this group is already established and Richard Holt kindly updated the forum on the recommendations and proposed next steps following this work. If you have already been involved in this group, we would very much appreciate your continued input. If you are new to the forum and would like to join this working group, please feel free to get in touch with Richard or Chloe. (Next meeting date to follow shortly).
  • Public Art - due to be held Friday 8th April (10am - 11.30am via Microsoft TEAMS).
  • Events - due to be held Wednesday 6th April (10am - 11.30am via Microsoft TEAMS).

Should you wish to register to attend any of these working groups, please email

For those who were unable to make the forum, a recording of the event can be found here: SWT Cultural Forum March 2022 - YouTube

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our speakers – Craig Stone and Richard Holt.

You can also find updates and our latest newsletters on our website: Cultural Forum and News (

Grants, Funding and Support Information:

Funding 2

Behavioural and Cultural Insights (BCI) Hub by the WHO and University of Exeter

WHO Europe and University of Exeter have launched a Knowledge Hub on Behavioural and Cultural Insights. BCI-HUB is a platform designed to share and showcase evidence and good practice related to the barriers and drivers of healthy practices, and there’s a whole section on arts & health! Arts and health | BCIHub (


Age of Creativity Festival announced from 1– 31 May

Join Age UK for their Age of Creativity Festival, celebrating a creative later life across England. This annual festival is led by Age UK Oxfordshire, with Age UK and hundreds of Age of Creativity network members across the country. Get involved!


NASP’s Social Prescribing Champion Programme is open!

Applications close on 14 April 2022

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) is on the lookout for clinical and non-clinical NHS colleagues who are passionate about Social Prescribing to join their national programme.


GRANTWAY – A new grant search portal

Open for registration

Grantway is a new grant search portal available completely free of charge for charity and volunteer organisations in England. Grantway uses leading-edge technology to find and compile all the funding opportunities available to charity and volunteer organisations in one place. - Grantway | Find your funding opportunities

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