Arts festival is set to expand next year

Belper Arts Festival will be expanded next year after the first arts celebration proved a hit with audiences across the town.

This years event attracted over 11,000 visitors to 135 events and is estimated to have brought in over £50,000 into the local economy.

Now, organisers have announced the 2014 festival will begin on April 18 and will end on May 26, giving a total of 39 days to feature art, literature, music, film, dance and photography.

Comedy will also be included, a new addition to the programme.

The festival will open with The Belper Passion on Good Friday, April 18.

The Passion, which attracted more than 800 visitors to the town centre this year, will be the focus for the Easter Weekend and is backed by Churches Together In Belper.

During the following weeks Belper will be packed with performances and workshops in venues all over the town.

The festival will close on May 26 with a large community event that will highlight the Festival’s motto of “inclusivity, not exclusivity”.

The organisers would like to hear from any individual or group, who would like to participate, organise an event or help in the background for next year’s festival.

Schools in particular are invited to take part.

They are also seeking support from businesses who can help sponsor the festival

“The arts festival is a great vehicle for local businesses. We are pleased that a major sponsor for 2013, George’s Tradition, wants to be part of next year’s Festival,” said George Gunby, of Field Lane, who is the Belper Arts Festival Co-Ordinator.

“George’s Fish Restaurant is a Belper icon and they certainly saw benefits from sponsorship.

“We hope that other businesses will support what is truly a community event.”

If you would like to contact the Belper Arts Festival or The Belper Passion phone George on 07845 400914 or email him via nonnel@sky.com