£178,000 for arts festival

A CASH boost will keep a vibrant arts festival alive for another three years.

The Arts Council England has awarded the Wirksworth Festival £178,000 over the next three years.

The annual festival is traditionally held in September and is a celebration of the town’s artist heritage.

Upon hearing the news of the festival’s funding, Wirksworth’s current mayor, Andy Pollock, hailed it as ‘excellent’.

He said: “It’s not just the money, it’s the recognition from the Arts Council that is important.

“It’s the prestige of that recognition and the festival is something we are very very proud of.”

The Arts Council usually funds the festival over a two year period, but has increased the time scale this year.

Every year, the streets of the market town are flooded with performers and artists, and local people throw their doors open to allow onlookers to gaze into their lives as part of the Wirksworth Trail.

Cllr Pollock continued: “The town comes to life for three weeks and there is something for all to do.

“It brings an awful lot of people into the town from away and for the traders it must be something that they look forward to.”

He said the art and architecture trail was another way for the town to show off its assets.

“We live in a beautiful town as it is with lots of history and to have all these wonderful buildings open and all these artists in residence is absolutely fantastic.

“The town absolutely heaves with people and it comes to life with art and architecture.”

The Wirksworth Festival is scheduled to take place from September 7 to 23 this year.

Further information on the event is available by visiting www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk.