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25 February 2020

Arts + Health Weekender shines a light on Weston

Weston Art weekender

Photo credit: Paul Blakemore

The spotlight will shine on Weston-super-Mare this April in a pioneering three-day event showcasing arts and health in the community, co-produced by Culture Weston and the Arts and Culture Programme of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

The Weston Arts + Health Weekender (3 - 5 April) inaugural festival celebrates wholeness and togetherness and marks two significant events; the joining of two hospital Trusts to form University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) and the launch of Culture Weston, a new initiative that promotes cultural and heritage-based activity as a vital part of the town's life.

Richard Blows, Transformation Programme Manager, Corporate Services, North Somerset Council said: "The Culture Weston initiative is being supported by North Somerset Council and Arts Council England and reflects their commitment to heritage, arts and culture as a central element of the town's future identity, growth and development."

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust join together as one organisation on 1st April 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. The merger is an exciting and unique opportunity to create a new organisation with a greater purpose, which is seen as a beacon for outstanding education, research, innovation and patient care.

The Weston Arts + Health Weekender will feature a family friendly programme of participatory events and professional performances alongside talks, creative workshops and hospital-based arts activities that embrace culture in its widest sense. Dance, theatre, art, music, poetry, storytelling, heritage, food and sport combine to offer an uplifting weekend of entertainment for everyone.

Anna Farthing, Arts Programme Director, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The festival offers a great opportunity to look back at Weston's history as a resort and celebrate the new partnerships being made across the arts and healthcare that can help people to look after themselves and each other. We want to celebrate the excellent practice that already exists, particularly in care of the elderly, and establish Weston as a beacon for Arts and Health in the future. We hope everyone will enjoy getting involved and that this will be the first of many such events."

Fiona Matthews, Culture Weston Director, added: "We are delighted to launch Culture Weston with such an important and relevant event that recognises Weston's unique heritage and showcases the people, places and activity that form the heartbeat of the town. Through Culture Weston we look forward to working closely with local people to develop ongoing activity and opportunities, building a thriving future for Weston that has arts and culture at its core."

The Weekender event features a host of free and ticketed events in both indoor and outdoor places across the town, including Weston General Hospital, Weston College Conference Centre, the Grand Pier, Sovereign Centre, Italian Gardens, Weston Museum, Grove Park, Blakehay Theatre, libraries and the beach.

For early booking and programme details about the Weston Arts + Health Weekender, visit