Agenda item

Cultural Events Taking a Lead 5:20 - 5:35

Contact: Charlie Wells, Freelance Programme Manager.


Charlie Webb, Freelance Programme Manager and Richard Smith, Strategic Creative Development Manager attended the Board to present an update on Cultural Events Taking a Lead.


Ms Webb reminded the Board that Taking the Lead was a Dewsbury Town Investment Plan project funded by the Town Fund and aimed to support a vibrant cultural community in Dewsbury and surrounding areas using a programme of events, skills development and participatory opportunities across music, textiles, visual arts and performance. It also explored heritage, community, culture and beyond with people living, working, and studying in Dewsbury.


The Board was informed of the five linked programme strands being (i) Young People (ii) Venue Development (iii) Cultural Icons (iv) Health and Wellbeing and (v) Community Cohesion. Ms Webb gave an overview of the strands which included events, performances, workshops, and summits.


The Board was advised that to date, through a variety of different Taking the Lead funded projects, the team had put creative activity into 22 different venues across Dewsbury, both indoor and outdoor in commercial and community spaces.  This included 127 workshops, 13 talks, 37 performances and one exhibition with a total of 8,000 beneficiaries creating over 200 days of paid work in Dewsbury for artists and creative businesses.


Looking forward, Ms Webb outlined future events such as lunchtime concerts with free tickets for schools, BBC Proms visiting Dewsbury in August, international artists DJ Yoda and Anna Meredith performing in October 2023 and jazz educator Anita Wardell appearing at Dewsbury Town Hall in September.


In terms of marketing, the Board noted that 20,000 A5 summer ‘what’s on’ brochures were produced with 6,000 being distributed door to door and being placed in 124 council buildings and commercial venues in Dewsbury, Cleckheaton and Batley.


The Board was advised of key events in the next six months being: -


1)    Sunday 6th August BBC Proms 3pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

2)    Saturday 9th September String Quartet at The Arcade for Heritage Open Days 11am onwards

3)    Friday 22nd September AWQ 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

4)    Friday 6th October Eight Grade with Live Soundtrack and Anna Meredith Q&A 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

5)    Saturday 7th October DJ Yoda’s Tarantino AV Show 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall

6)    Saturday 14th October YSWN performance @ The Terrace (TBC)

7)    Tuesday 12th December Songs for the Season Finale Event 7:30pm @ Dewsbury Town Hall


In conclusion, Ms Webb reminded the Board of her request for a Board Member to judge the creation of a winter songbook for Kirklees alongside musicians Ellie Sax, Rachel Modest and Director of Musica Kirklees - Thom Meredith culminating in a concert on 12 December 2023.


The Board discussed how to amplify what had been accomplished to date to encompass a wider audience. It was agreed that working collaboratively with existing cultural organisations such as the Bradford Literary Festival would bring wider audiences to Dewsbury.




1)    That Ms Webb be thanked for her presentation and update.

2)    That Board Members consider supporting the Cultural Events Taking a Lead project by putting themselves forward as a judge.

3)    That a further update report be brought to the September meeting of the Board.