Boost for Isle of Wight Arts as MP secures priority treatment from Arts Council

Isle of Wight arts organisations will now receive priority treatment from the Arts Council of England (ACE) to develop their potential after lobbying from MP Bob Seely.

ACE is to work with the council, New Carnival Company, Shademakers, the Quay, Ventnor Exchange and museums to pinpoint opportunities.

“This announcement of the Island becoming a Priority Location is really great news and I will now work with the many excellent organisations we have to develop plans to maximise the potential of the arts and museum scene,” said Bob.

“I’m delighted that the numerous round tables with ACE and arts groups across the Island this last year has paid a handsome reward and I thank the arts council for this announcement.

“I believe the Island's artistic heritage is currently underutilised and there is a huge area of potential for the Isle of Wight to develop and link up with other organisations like London museums, theatres and galleries.”

“Such work is important for regeneration, education and the public good, and it will increase the attraction for visitors who want to come to the Island.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “As the national development agency for the arts, museums and libraries in England, a large part of our role is to support the development of the sector and to work at a local level to ensure that arts, culture and libraries are integrated into communities. So, we’re delighted to have identified the Isle of Wight as a priority location.

“We know that the success and sustainability of the arts and cultural sector on the Isle of Wight depends on effective partnerships between the Arts Council and its local partners.

“We’re very grateful to Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely for bringing people together to advance this shared agenda.”