The director of the annual Free Expression arts festival in Blandford has finally secured temporary planning permission for an arts hub in the town.
After 18 months, Kate Seegar has finally received planning permission to turn two sheds on Nightingale Court Garden into art spaces to enrich the lives and delight the community. And now she is seeking volunteers to help bring Blandford Art Hub into a thriving creative centre, to renovate the two sheds for workshop spaces and to help market the hub, boosting its platform on social media.
“It was a long hard battle but the Blandford Art Hub did it, well at least for the next three years,” said Kate. “The landlord of Nightingale Garden gave me two sheds from which I can run Blandford Arts Hub. And now, getting planning permission, albeit temporary, means I have the opportunity to create the art hub and show how you can get creative with a couple of old sheds. If it’s a success, there is no reason for Dorset Council not to issue permanent planning permission. It’s not the perfect outcome, and it’s proving expensive, but it’s an acceptable compromise, at the end of the day I can at least proceed forward.”
Kate has received much support from the community, with scores of people excited to have an art outlet in the town. Some 200 people signed the petition Kate started last year for Blandford Art Hub.
“I could not have done this without all the different help I have received,” said Kate. “Either financially, people offering advice and moral support, signing the petition or the strangers who came up to me asking how it was going or that they couldn’t wait for it to start.”
Kate is the director and founder of the vibrant community arts festival in Blandford, which celebrates all areas of the arts with workshops, circus performances, exhibitions and live theatre.
She said: “There are some really creative people in Blandford and I think it is so important for so many reasons to have an outlet for the arts. The hub would not only give people a space for their creativity, but it would serve as warm and welcoming base to signpost people to other arts taking place.”
Kate is planning get her workshops up and running in time for the school summer holidays, although the Arts Hub will be for everyone in all age groups.
“This year there may be no Arts Festival, we hope to return in 2022, but we will still be bringing the arts to the town through the Blandford Art Hub. It’s all very exciting, and I am really looking forward to the future of the arts in Blandford. So watch this space.”
Thank you all so, so much for the love and appreciation you’ve shown us since we launched the New Blackmore Vale.