A ‘treasure chest of creative talents’

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A project to breathe new life into Cornish towns and villages launches this week, with culture and heritage bringing curiosity and exploration to the high streets of ten towns in the Duchy.

Tresorys Kernow, which has received a total of £579,973, is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. Tresorys Kernow is a pilot programme led by Cornwall Museums Partnership and delivered in partnership with Creative Kernow to reinvigorate town centres through an imaginative programme of cultural events.

Running from April to June 2022, the project aims to strengthen communities by working in collaboration with local people to produce a rich treasure trove of activities and events.

Alongside the arts events, Tresorys Kernow also offers a documentary production course for young people not in education, training or employment – as well as film-making work experience for 15–17-year-olds.

The cohort of young people will create an immersive film about the project and the essence of life in the ten towns, which will then tour around the participating towns.

Creative Kernow will distribute funding of £100k in the five towns of Saltash, Lostwithiel, St Austell, Penzance and Newquay through cultural partners, artists and freelancers who will deliver exciting programmes across the high streets.

Fiona Wotton, CEO for Creative Kernow, said: “Tresorys Kernow is like lifting the lid on a treasure chest of creative talents in our communities in Cornwall.

“We are investing over £100k in grants to artists and creative producers to pilot new ways of delivering sustainable culture-led town renewal in partnership with residents and local businesses. We want to bring the joy back to the Cornish high street and invite visitors – whether local or from further afield – to try new things and celebrate our unique and enduring heritage.”

Some events will use empty retail spaces within high streets. A further £20k has been committed to Studios on the High Street. This is a programme of residencies for at least six artists and other creative practitioners that will be happening in two empty shops and a pub/hotel in Launceston for ten weeks, starting in mid-May 2022.

Cornwall Museums Partnership will distribute £100k in funding to deliver the project in five of the ten towns, working alongside museums teams – Bodmin Keep, Charles Causey Trust in Launceston, The Castle in Bude, Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro and PK Porthcurno.

Fiona Morris, chair of the board of trustees for Cornwall Museums Partnership (CMP), said: “At CMP, we hope that Tresorys Kernow will be the beginning of an exciting new initiative in partnership with Creative Kernow to help bring life back to our high streets and give our communities and young people the opportunity to create and share new stories, whilst drawing on the rich collection of artifacts and history that lie behind our unique cultural and geographic landscape.”

Highlights from Tresorys Kernow – which means Cornish Treasures – include heritage and arts events, immersive experiences, pop-up tech events and skills programmes.

From Saltash’s Sea and Shanty Festival to PK Porthcurno’s environmentally-focused children’s workshops on bees, from Bude’s focus on innovation with inventor’s workshops to a mass synchronised swim at Penzance in aid of humanitarian support – there’s a wealth of incredible treasures to be discovered in our local towns.

The project is fully funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund and managed by Cornwall Council as the Lead Authority.

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