On Tuesday morning I visited Wyre in Lancashire where the local authority arts officer, Chris Wyatt, gave me a tour of his area. Wyre, with neighbouring Blackpool, is the focus for one of the first Creative People and Places consortia. Wyre is a largely rural area around the River Wyre, between the Bowland Fells and the coast, and includes the towns of Poulton-le-Fylde, Garstang and Fleetwood. We visited the Garstang Arts Centre, a beautifully converted old school building, to meet the Chair and Secretary of Garstang & District Arts Society. The Arts Society is a very impressive volunteer-run organisation that runs the Arts Centre and boasts around 15 affiliated amateur arts groups and nearly 400 individual members. Their programme of activities includes photography, calligraphy, folk dance, floral art, a community choir and a big band. We talked about how Garstand & District Arts Society might be able to get involved in the Creative People and Places programme to increase arts engagement in the area.
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