Experience Newquay, which aims to encourage a resilient year-round visitor economy in the town, has awarded two grants towards cultural events in the winter months.

The project has also shortlisted six proposals to develop ideas for permanent installations in the town centre.

Together the creative activities and selected permanent installations will aim to give residents and visitors more to enjoy in the town during the traditionally quieter months. 

Following a call for cultural proposals, a panel made up of community representatives reviewed the ideas put forward, while keeping in mind the results of a consultation with residents and business owners where themes including community, history, events and people were identified. 

Now Alma Artspace CIC has been given a grant to deliver a winter arts programme that will connect people to the town and landscape through exhibitions, walks, talks and workshops. 

The programme will bring together artists, curators, storytellers, musicians and makers from Cornwall and beyond with the objective of brightening up the winter months, inspiring the community and welcoming residents and visitors to explore the town’s cultural potential. 

Alma Artspace is a community arts organisation based in Newquay that organises workshops, exhibitions and other events offering access to high-quality arts and cultural experiences.

The organisation stages the events to benefit health and well-being, and develops partnerships across the creative sector in the South West. 

Working with professional artists from various disciplines, Alma Artspace provides inclusive experiences which are accessible to all, with a particular focus on contemporary art, music and visual culture. 

The second grant is going to Rob Mennear, an independent dance artist based in Cornwall.  

An Experience Newquay spokesperson said: “To the Moon and Back by Rob Mennear will combine dance, theatre, sound installation and projection to create immersive experiences that entice and surprise. 

“Coinciding with the super full moon, this evening experience will invite people to explore spaces in the town centre that have been transformed and co-created with residents, bringing stories of Newquay’s community to life.” 

Rob creates immersive worlds for audiences and performers. 

From smartphone experiences to town takeover installations of derelict structures, Rob collaborates with visual artists, composers, technologists and designers to create lasting memories and connections through multi-disciplinary engagement programmes. 

He is the artistic director of All Boys Dance and the co-artistic director of the Hall For Cornwall Youth Dance Company. 

The six shortlisted proposals for permanent installations in the town centre include ideas for sculpture, graffiti and light installations. 

Each proposal will be developed further and will be reviewed by the panel. 

Two projects will be selected to go ahead and these will be announced in the spring. 

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy and the local member for Newquay Central and Pentire, said: “Experience Newquay’s cultural programme is putting community at its heart.

“Newquay is on track to have an enviable programme of cultural activities and installations, which will inject a fresh energy into the town centre for residents and visitors alike.”  

Experience Newquay is a two-year project, which is due to run until March 2025, from Cornwall Council. 

The spokesperson said: “Putting a spotlight on the low season and embracing Newquay’s unique identity, the project supports Newquay’s visitor economy in four key areas: training and support, curation of a cultural offer, marketing and evaluation of impacts. It is designed to attract an even flow of local and national visitors who sustainably engage with the town throughout the year. 

“This project is being funded with a £365,426 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the Government though the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It is part of Good Growth’s Town, Rural and Coastal High Street Development and Skills Programme. The aim is to support local enterprises through regenerating town centres and neighbourhood shopping areas.

“For more information about the Shared Prosperity Fund and to see how projects are using the funding to make a difference, visit www.ciosgoodgrowth.com.”