Town is ‘starting to realise the benefits of its creative talent’

editorial image

Around 150 people visited a new gallery in Belper set-up in the wake of the town’s first arts festival.

Nationally known artist Peter Woolley, who regularly appears on TV, and has authored many watercolour books and instructional DVDs cut the ribbon on the Cherry Orchard on Market Place on Sunday (July 14).

And the town’s food festival helped to boost trade, with people flocking to view the local creative talent being exhibited.

Joint owner, Suzanne Parnell, said: “It was absolutely packed - we were really pleased by the amount of people that turned up.

“We held the opening deliberately to coincide with the food festival and it provided a good catchment of visitors along with artists wanting to know how they can get their work into the gallery.

“Peter was brilliant - he stood chatting to lots of people and quite a few were from his courses.”

The arts festival saw 11,000 visitors attend more than 125 events in Belper during May and is estimated to have brought in over £50,000 into the local economy.

Suzanne continued: “I think there is a growing realisation that there is a lot creative talent in Belper and it’s starting to have a presence.

“Our focus is going to be on local creative people - giving them an outlet, where they may not have one.

“We will be highlighting particular artists and rotating the work on display to keep it fresh.”

The shop will be open all week except Sundays and Mondays.