Yeovil Art Space announces funding from Heritage Fund for new arts and heritage project ‘Story of Yeovil’.

We are very excited to announce that Yeovil Art Space is to be awarded £96,403 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out a new community arts and heritage project on behalf of the Yeovil Art and Heritage Working Group.  The Art and Heritage group is a formal partnership between Yeovil Art Space, Yeovil Town Council, South Somerset District Council, Yeovil’s Virtual Museum, EPS Yeovil and Yeovil Press, supported by the Somerset South West Heritage Trust.  

Working with the University of the West of England Regional History Centre, and a number of local organisations, groups and schools, ‘Story of Yeovil’ will bring a programme of events, talks, educational resources, displays, workshops and publications to Yeovil residents and visitors from further afield in the next 18 months until March 2024.

We are thrilled to have received this support from the Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery Players. Together with our partners, we are confident the project will bring a variety of opportunities to the Yeovil community to share and discover more about our town and to be proud of its history and place in Somerset.

We are looking forward to collaborating with many organisations in Yeovil to deliver this project, including Love Yeovil, Yeovil College, Abri Housing, Yeovil Library, Quedam Shopping Centre, Yeovil4Family and different neighbourhoods across the town, such as Birchfield and Westfield and we welcome more communities to join us in this exciting project.

Focusing on exploring Yeovil’s heritage and history through the voice of local communities and creativities we have plans for three themes to explore Yeovil’s community heritage and social history throughout time from diverse perspectives.

‘View of Yeovil’, will focus on the significant heritage of architecture and landscape within Yeovil, exploring and recording people’s memories and stories that are woven through areas and buildings in the town, looking at photographs and local walks. 

‘Taste of Yeovil’ will look at the story of local produce from the town’s butchers and greengrocers to restaurants, corner shops and family traditions.  Capturing stories of ‘food culture’ overtime, specific to Yeovil and its communities with a recipe book project and workshop events.   

‘Sound of Yeovil’ highlights the rich live music and entertainment scene of Yeovil past and present, putting a spotlight on the existing culture in Yeovil with a series of workshops and live music and performances. 

Funded by Heritage Fund, plans for Story of Yeovil outline the educational and exciting creative possibilities for the project including a series of research and engagement activities, including community heritage forums, young ambassadors programme, and community workshops on creative writing and visual arts. From May 2023 you can expect to see a series of online exhibitions on Yeovil’s Virtual Museum (the A-to-Z of Yeovil’s History by local historian Bob Osborn) and multi-site exhibitions of heritage and new art commission across the town centre, resulting from research on the South Somerset Heritage Collection, alongside an open-source digital audio/visual heritage map and an extensive educational programme for schools.

If you would like to find out how to get involved and learn more about the project, please email us at storyofyeovil@yeovilartspace.uk