Cultural Development News - Help Somerset become a cultural destination

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Help Somerset become a cultural destination!


Consultations on the Somerset Wide Cultural Strategy close on Sunday 20th November 2022:

The five Council’s across Somerset are working together to create a Somerset Cultural Strategy which will help to raise the profile of Somerset as a cultural destination and embed arts and culture within the council’s services.

As part of this work, a consultation is taking place which gives you the opportunity to have your say in what you would like to see happening in your local area.

Somerset County Council, South Somerset District Council, Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council will be coming together in April 2023 to form the new Somerset Council.

The Somerset Cultural Strategy is being created to present an exciting vision for the role of culture within our county and the communities the council serves.

The project is led by the Arts and Entertainment Service of South Somerset District Council after the area was designated a ‘Priority Place’ by Arts Council England and an area included within the government’s Levelling Up for Culture Places.

As part of the work, we want to understand your perceptions are of arts and culture in Somerset currently and what you would like to see happening in your local area.

To do this, we are carrying out two surveys to help us learn more about what you value the most and how we can promote Somerset as a cultural destination to visitors.

You can have your say by visiting and completing the survey which takes approximately five minutes to complete.

Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Communities which arts and culture sits under, said: “The Somerset Cultural Strategy will define how, as an organisation, the new Somerset Council will support cultural activities to enrich the lives of residents and enhance our communities.

“It’s important that people of Somerset have their say on what is valued the most and what the perceptions are of arts and culture in our county.

"What you tell us helps us write the strategy and better understand your wants and needs. I encourage everyone to complete the survey and have an input into helping Somerset become a cultural destination for now and the future.”

The survey will close on Sunday 20 November and anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by South Somerset District Council and shared with appointed consultants, The Fifth Sector.

Cultural Practitioners Survey - consultation closes 20th November 2022:

Cultural Practitioners Survey

A reminder that the Cultural Practitioners survey closes on 20th November 2022. This is the opportunity for businesses and creative organisations to feed into the Somerset Wide Cultural Strategy. The survey can be found here.

New Art Gallery opening in December:


Somerset West and Taunton Council has teamed up with local chainsaw artist Matthew Crabb to open a new and exciting art gallery in Taunton.

Matthew Crabb the artist behind the eagerly awaited Dragon sculpture due to be installed in Taunton High Street will be opening his art gallery at the new Riverside at Coal Orchard development in Taunton on Tuesday 6th December. The gallery will consist of over 150 pieces of work by Matthew Crabb and other carefully selected artists. 

As our valued Cultural Forum members, we would like to invite you to the official opening on Tuesday 6th December between 7pm - 10pm to view the gallery before it opens to the public. 

Cllr Caroline Ellis, Executive Member for Culture, said: “I am delighted that we are able to promote and showcase the work of Matt and other brilliant local artists in the centre of Taunton. It will offer an amazing experience that people of all ages from across the district and beyond can enjoy free of charge. I hope the exhibition will encourage and inspire talented, creative young people to fulfil their ambitions here”

The art gallery will open to the public from Wednesday 7th December and will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am - 4pm. The gallery will also be hosting live workshops where people can meet the artists and watch them work in the studio space.

A video giving an introduction to the gallery can be found here: Arcadia Gallery

The Future of Arts & Culture in Somerset - Conference Success:


Take a look at this short video of "The Future of Arts & Culture in Somerset Conference 2022" delivered by SABCA.

Resources and downloads of the event are also available here.

Grants and funding opportunities:

Funding 2

Do you work in arts and culture in rural Somerset?

Somerset has been awarded £3.4m of capital funds to deliver to the rural areas over the next two financial years. Defra has provided a standard set of questions that they will review before the funds are released. These provide an overview of the issues within the rural areas of Somerset and will also identify potential areas of support for rural business, communities and the economy. Many people and orgs have done this for arts and culture access in rural areas and ask you to do the same. Help by doing the questionnaire found here - Somerset UKSPF Rural Fund - Somerset County Council Consultations (

National Freelance Survey

Creative UK has launched the UK’s largest freelance survey to improve working conditions and drive industry change. Creative UK launches Redesigning Freelancing - Creative UK (

Taunton’s Got Talent

Sign up now for your chance to be the winner of Taunton's Got Talent 2022 and scoop an amazing £500 cash! Taunton's Got Talent | Facebook

Understanding Somerset’s Business Needs

Somerset’s five Local Authorities are jointly undertaking a survey to better understand and support local businesses, now and in the future.

For many businesses these are challenging times and understanding the nature of those challenges is crucial for us, so that we can look to provide the support that businesses really need.

To complete the survey, please follow this link: Somerset Business Survey 2022 - Somerset Business Survey 2022 - Understanding business challenges and opportunities - Somerset County Council Consultations (

Creatively Minded at the Museum

Creatively Minded at the Museum, which highlights targeted work by museums to engage people with mental health problems, especially using participatory arts, and calls for more work in this area. Creatively Minded at the Museum - The Baring Foundation

Creative Enterprise £5000 Grants

The Creative Enterprise Business Planning Support will pay grants of up to £5000 to support companies in England (but outside London) who work in moving images for storytelling, spanning film, television, games and immersive, to build meaningful connections and create opportunities for business growth. Business Planning Support - Creative UK (

UK/Viet Nam Season 2023

The British Council is looking for UK arts organisations to be part of its UK/Viet Nam season with collaborative grants of up to £20,000. 

UK/Viet Nam Season 2023 | British Council

Collaborate Fund

The centre for Cultural Value has launched the second round of its Collaborate fund for research partnerships between culture and academia. The fund supports innovative new research partnerships between cultural sector practitioners and academics that ask new questions about the difference culture makes to people’s lives. Funding - Centre for Cultural Value

Social Prescribing News

Arts Council England and Historic England have recently published plans outlining how they will support health and wellbeing, including through social prescribing.

Creative Health & Wellbeing | Arts Council England

Youth Music Trailblazer Fund

Youth Music Trailblazer Fund Round 3 – Grants of between £2,000 and £30,000 are available over 2 years for constituted UK organisations for projects that encourage children and young people aged under 25 to make, learn and earn in music.

Trailblazer Fund | Youth Music

Upcoming events and things to do:

Check out the Somerset West and Things to Do Website for details on all upcoming Events in our district.

Celebrating Arts and Culture in our district:


Check out Caroline's latest video that celebrates the fantastic offering of arts and culture within our district.  


SWT Events Banner