Arts and culture cash for Keynsham

May 27 2021

New community-led cultural activities and events are set to be enjoyed in Keynsham from this summer following an £80,000 award.

The grant has been made by Historic England as part of Keynsham’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HZHAZ) and will be used for new community programmes centred around the High Street that are focused on the arts, history and culture.

Keynsham is among 60 high streets in England to receive a share of £6 million for these projects from the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme.

Taking place over the next three years, these local cultural programmes will be led by ‘cultural consortia’ formed of local stakeholder groups and representatives, with support from Bath & North East Somerset Council and Historic England.

Keynsham has been awarded £80,000 to fund activities including mini festivals, markets, cultural community days and the installation of an illustrative timeline of Keynsham’s history.

In the first year, the project will uncover how Keynsham was in the past. The second year will celebrate Keynsham as it is now, and the final year will look to the future.

Deb Cooper of Keynsham Town Council led the Keynsham bid, developed by the cultural consortium with support from Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Councillor Cooper said: “Currently, people come to the High Street area to do their shopping and then they leave. We want them to feel that they can stay a while, meet friends, relax and enjoy a safe, bright, inspiring space.

“We want everyone to benefit from our programme – we want our older residents to recognise and remember past events, and to know that the younger residents will see and hear their stories, and share their experiences.

“We want to inspire younger residents to be proud of and take ownership of our town for the future. We want to make sure we support and appreciate our businesses and traders, who are a vital part of our town centre.

“By the end of this programme, we aim to have built a strong and exciting cultural calendar for our town centre – events and activities that bring people together throughout the year, and which become regular events. This will create memories for people, and this is how a legacy is built.”

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme is led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The cultural programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

More information on Keynsham’s cultural programme will be announced in the coming months.