Creative Cullompton is a ground breaking new initiative, funded by Historic England as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), to deliver a Cultural Programme for Cullompton’s high street over the next three years.  Cullompton is one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6 million for their cultural programme. Grants of up to £120,000 have been awarded to local arts organisations for cultural activity on each high street,  Cullompton has been awarded £90,000.00.

Creative Cullompton will encourage new and sustainable cultural activity by adding more music and drama to the social scene.

Creative Cullompton will develop the current and very successful festivals.

Creative Cullompton will explore the heritage of the High Street and Fore Street and provide an historical archive.

Creative Cullompton wants to reach local people, community groups, local businesses, local organisations, local arts and cultural practitioners and visitors. Everyone will benefit by taking part in new and exciting activities that will increase footfall to the high street.

Creative Cullompton aims to breathe new life into the town centre by attracting new and existing community members into the town centre for leisure, cultural and social activities.  We want our high street to change to become a vibrant place that people want to use for their everyday needs as well as their leisure time. A place which encourages awareness and curiosity into the town’s heritage

Creative Cullompton will do this by building on what makes Cullompton town centre special, including its history, heritage and buildings of architectural interest. The projects proposed by  Creative Cullompton will  run alongside the wider HAZ project  in different but complementary ways.

We will start with a ‘Heart of the Street” consultation event in the Walronds on Saturday 26th June

This consultation will enable the community to let us know what they think makes the town centre special and how they would like to see art, culture and social activities developed.

A giant heart woven from willow and installed in the Walronds garden. This is community art project to collect ideas, get crafty and create a piece of new work made with the people of Cullompton alongside willow sculptor Vik Westaway.
Schools, community groups and families etc will be offered ‘willow workshops’ or ‘weave heart kits’ to make at home, then dropped back to the Walronds, Vik will then add them to the installation. The kits and workshops will include an ‘ideas tag’ on which participants can write their ideas/hopes for the town.

These ideas will help Creative Cullompton to plan future workshops, events and happenings.

These ideas tags will also be added to the installation so everyone can see the rich ideas and find out more about the Creative Cullompton project.

Project timeline.

14th 15th 16th June Vik Westaway is artist in residence in the Walronds garden, come along and see her weave the giant heart and have a chat about the project.

26th June
Creative Cullompton launch come along to the Walronds garden to collect willow kits to take away, don’t forget to bring back the finished hearts to Vik between the 28th and 30th June.


COVID safe 30 mins willow heart workshops at the Walronds, book you place on these workshops by emailing info@walronds.com


Monday 28th workshop – morning (timings coming soon) Monday 28th workshop – after school Tuesday 29th workshop – evening Wednesday 30th workshop – afternoon

PROJECTS

Project 1Oral and High Street History plus High Street Art and Photography

This project will help restore and enhance the local character of the town centre, by facilitating greater community engagement in history projects and bringing to life histories that make up the town centre’s important heritage. The community will be engaged in a range of projects, such as developing a plaque scheme, oral histories, non-permanent arts installation and a mosaic/ mural, that can be developed to complement the High Street Action Zone project to showcase Cullompton’s buildings and public spaces of historical and architectural merit.

We would like to recruit Cultural/ heritage ambassadors to help lead on guided walks, trained by experts, and who can also help to ensure the important local character of the town is restored and maintained long after the HAZ project has finished.

The building histories and town centre tales to emerge from the various histories projects will be showcased in the town centre through exhibitions and storytelling, helping to enhance the sense of local pride and improving the perception of the town centre and its heritage.  

Project 2 – Developing Festivals and bringing art and culture to the high street

This project will build on what Cullompton does very well already, including its excellent festivals, food and drink culture and award winning Farmers Market. In addition, the various activities in this project will help to encourage new and sustainable cultural activity, through the development of numerous and diverse community engagement activities taking place across the town centre.

It will allow the community to come together in different ways to discuss and reimagine the town centre, what they think makes it special and how they would like to see art, culture and social activities developed. Ideas range from visual arts workshops to creating a historical textile map (building on Cullompton’s heritage as a centre of wool and textile production), drop-in sculpture workshops to display in underused or empty retail spaces, and samba or drumming classes and performances. This range of activities and themes will help to change perceptions of the town centre as somewhere that can also host new, different or exciting activities that may not have taken place in the town previously, and that may attract visitors from the wider local area as well as tourists. 

The festivals and Farmers Markets will also be key stakeholders in the development of the public realm enhancement works proposed for the Higher Bullring, ensuring an enhanced public space is created that meets the needs of the whole community. 

Project 3 – Performing arts skills leading to performances

This project will help to develop a youth theatre in Cullompton town centre, building on the stories and histories of the town developed in Project 1 to help ‘tell the tale’ of Cullompton and in the process leaving an important legacy of cultural activity, visual and performance art, and youth theatre long after the HAZ project has finished.

The capital works programme around the town centre will help to provide new and interesting pop-up venues, and the public realm enhancement works will provide a wider space for larger community gatherings in the future.

STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS

Creative Cullompton’s  lead partner is Cullompton Art House but we will be looking to employ professional assistance  to deliver many of the activities.  The partners in Creative Cullompton are:

OrganisationRole
Devon County CouncilAdvice and small funding contributions.  Communications regarding planned work to the High Street
Mid Devon District CouncilProject support, opportunities through ‘Love Your Town Centre’ Fund.  Planning and conservation advice.
Cullompton Town CouncilProject Support
Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust  Lead on Projects One & Two : Oral and High Street History plus High Street Art and Photography and  Developing Festivals and bringing art and culture to the High Street  
Cullompton Town TeamProject Support
Involve Mid DevonSupport community action, assist with recruiting volunteers and DBS Checks.
Next Generation Theatre GroupJointly deliver Project Three Activ8 Theatre
Activ8 TheatreJointly deliver Project Three Next Generation Theatre Group
Cullompton Arts House  Create intro video
Cullompton John Tallack Youth & Community CentreYouth Centre, venue for youth theatre
Coach House Arts LtdDeliver ‘Heart of the High Street’ public engagement  project, advise re workshop activities/commissioning artists/staff/ feedback and evaluation
Culm Valley in BusinessSharing information
Cullompton  Churches TogetherSharing information

HOW TO GET INVOLVED OR FIND OUT MORE

Creative Cullompton wants to tell everyone that lives or works in the town and surrounding villages about our project.  We will engage with audiences and communities to ensure that activities reach people by using social media, online workshops. To do this we will need help and support.

To find out more, get involved or let have your ideas please email: info@walronds.com