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Plans for major arts festival in the South Hams


Issued: 18 April 2024

Plans are afoot to create a district-wide arts festival for the South Hams next summer.

In conjunction with South Hams District Council, NDP Circus is working on delivering a week-long festival across the district in the summer of 2025. The festival would bring together community organisations focused on the arts and culture, while encouraging collaboration with town and parish councils too.

The festival would also bring together event organisers to help co-ordinate activities in each area. The key theme of the festival would be climate change, a subject of importance to South Hams District Council.

Cllr John Birch, South Hams Executive Member for Economic Development and Commercial Strategy, said: “An arts festival encompassing our communities would be a huge boon for the district. We are looking for our towns and parishes to really buy into the idea, so that this truly is an event for the whole South Hams.

“The festival would be great for the economy, as events would attract visitors to our towns and venues and encourage people to spend money and support our local businesses.

“The Council has an ambition to develop an arts and culture strategy for the South Hams. The festival could be a launchpad for wider activities in the district and leave a significant legacy.

“Climate change is something affecting us all and making it a key theme of the festival will also highlight this important issue.

“Events like this create memories. They get people engaged in the arts, learning new skills and trying new things. They build community spirit by bringing people together. Businesses benefit as people come out from their homes and spend time in the heart of their communities. I’m excited to see what NDP Circus can pull together and the programme of events our residents can look forward to.”

NDP Circus has a track record of bringing arts events to the district following their successful Totnes Festival in 2022. The event was delivered around Totnes and Dartington, with highlights including a performance by the Globe Theatre at Dartington Hall.

The organisation successfully attracted £65,000 of Arts Council funding for the Totnes Festival, along with further funding from Totnes Town Council and South Hams District Council.

The 2025 arts festival is predicted to cost around £175,000, and they will again look to secure funding from the Arts Council and private sector, as well as town and parish councils. They will also aim to work with arts organisations locally to co-ordinate events.

Posted in SHDC.