Arts & Heritage

‘Arts and Heritage’ covers a wide-range of activities and aspects of our historic environment.

Arts includes professional productions brought to the town as well as a wealth of amateur and local activities including singing, orchestras, groups and visual arts. There are those activities which we participate in and those which we enjoy as an audience. Many of our town’s residents engage in the arts but also many visitors come to the town to attend arts events.

Whilst it is not always clear what connection some of this has with the planning process and the proposed Town Plan it’s good to understand which are the things that we value and, maybe, even to think about what’s missing. For example if there is demand for a cinema this can be recorded and could be taken into consideration in future planning applications.

We can start by thinking about what’s missing. Many years ago the town had two cinemas. Far more recently English Heritage ended its long running series of open-air concerts at Audley End House. Right now there is the possibility that Fairycroft House will be sold for housing development or could become an ‘Arts and Media Centre’. Which would you like to see?

The Saffron Hall is an impressive ‘national’ facility for a town of our size. Does it put on the sort of productions and concerts you want? Do you use Saffron Screen? If you’re a visitor from out of town can you easily get to Saffron Walden by public transport or car and would you use hotel accommodation if more were available?

Are we lacking less formal entertainment venues such as pubs and clubs

Perhaps you sing, play or act with one of the wide range of amateur organisations in the town. Does Saffron Walden have venues well-suited to what you do?

What value do you place on our Museum and on the Fry Art Gallery

Saffron Walden is well-known for its high concentration of fine heritage buildings, scheduled monuments and a formerly Royal palace on its outskirts. How should we protect this heritage for generations to come

Should more use be made of the Common over and above occasional fairs, circuses and bonfire nights? And what about large open-air events generally? Should Saffron Walden encourage these as far as it can? Do you go to events such as the ‘Crank-up’? Should the Folk Festival be re-established?

We want to hear from you. What do you like? What do you want more of? Less of?

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