Arts Out West – ‘Kirkgate Arts’

Arts Out West works with volunteer promoters in village halls and community centres throughout West Cumbria, to bring high quality professional arts-based events to local communities. Currently there are 14 halls active on the scheme in Copeland.

The project has brought a variety of high quality professional arts to Copeland thereby assisting village halls to remain viable and vibrant amenities in their communities.

Caroline Aston, Artistic Manager for Kirkgate Arts said “In many cases the village hall is the social centre of the community, a place to meet friends and neighbours in pleasant surroundings. Older people living on their own are offered lifts by their neighbours when there’s a show on in the village hall. This contributes greatly to a sense of community cohesion.”

“The funding from Copeland Community Fund allows us to offer up to four subsidised shows per venue per year in Copeland and we aim to establish one additional semi-urban area venue in Cleator Moor. We also aim to establish two additional rural venues. As part of our project we will be undertaking promoter and social media training sessions to help ensure the long-term future of the productions in our rural communities.

“So far the productions have been well attended and we hope the next series of exciting productions will be as well supported by communities in Copeland”.

Other funding for the programme came from: Arts Council England, Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria County Council and BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Fund.


• 1 full time Job Created/Safeguarded
• 1 part time Job Created/Safeguarded
• £70,000 Additional Funding drawn into the Area
• 5 New/Improved Cultural Facilities
• 25 New Volunteering Opportunities
• 100 Local People assisted in their Skills Development
• 3,000 Local People with access to Cultural Opportunities


1. More people given opportunities to engage with high quality arts events and experiences
2. More promoters trained in hosting and promoting, including the use of digital media
3. Capacity to programme film screenings in Copeland halls
4. More local performers appearing on the touring scheme – boosting their earnings and developing their performing skills