Whitby Market Towns Initiative

The project aimed to maximise the social and economic benefit of arts and culture throughout Whitby and it's travel to work area by supporting and developing the sector as a whole.

The main aim of the project was to maximise the social and economic benefit of arts and culture throughout Whitby and it's travel to work area by supporting and developing the sector as a whole.

The appointment of a full time co-ordinator added capacity to both the business and community arts sector in Whitby and District. An arts and culture specific business advice service was made available, led by the co-ordinator, who signposted businesses and community projects to other appropriate services.

Training was provided in Public and Community arts practice in order to meet the skills gap of artists working in the community.

A network of local cultural industries became established which will develop as a support mechanism as well as an outlet for information exchanges and partnership working. This will also lead to a more comprehensive and effective information distribution service and will benefit the development of the directory and web site.

Projects were developed to maximise the economic benefits of cultural tourism, including the Open Studios art trail which in year one involved 33 artists, 12 of which are from Whitby and District, and in year two involved 45 artists, 16 of which were from Whitby and District. This project effectively markets participating artists and in 2004 generated £18,215 worth of sales over three weekends, contributing to the sustainability of these businesses and enhancing the area as a cultural tourism destination. A series of community arts projects benefited the community through lifelong learning and capacity building, and also provided live training and employment opportunities for local arts practitioners.