Firstly, let me say, I am not a Tauntonian!
I visited Taunton frequently about 25 years ago to meet with colleagues across the south west region. I thought, what an attractive town: not too big or too small, flowery, brilliant for access and communications, surrounded by wonderful countryside.
These memories stayed with me when my wife and I were pondering where we might retire.
We came to Taunton and are delighted that we did. But Taunton has not entirely prospered in the intervening period. Like so many towns and cities, the high streets are struggling and the centre hollowing out. Anodyne new developments have sprung up around the town. And not much is going on – no buzz in the evenings of cinema and theatre goers and people eating out. All this has been accentuated by Covid of course.
I joined Arts Taunton because I wanted to help do something about it, to bring life and community back into the town. That’s what the arts can do – draw people in and together, create a sense of place and purpose, give a town a heart. That’s what we want to do through Arts Taunton: give Taunton back its heart.
We will need all your help and support to do it…
Appointed Chair, April 2021