The Arches – Director appointed to create enticing new Worcester festivals

Severn Arts has appointed a Director to develop and deliver four exciting new annual festivals for Worcester. 

Earlier this year the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £3m from the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England, towards the costs of the ambitious £4.5m initiative known as The Arches - Worcester.  The new Festivals Director post will be funded from this investment.

David Edmunds, who takes up the appointment of Festivals Director on 29 July, has spent more than two decades working in the cultural and creative industries. He founded Dep Arts, one of the North of England’s leading independent production companies, and spent over a decade producing and directing work there.  The company toured, programmed and commissioned work in a variety of art forms.

Prior to Dep Arts, David worked for some of the UK’s leading cultural organisations including The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Lowry, and has served on numerous arts boards during his career. David is also a founding member of the Guild of Media Arts in York.

"I’m delighted to have been appointed as the new Festivals Director for The Arches-Worcester.  It feels like a really exciting time for Worcester in terms of culture and I have been struck by the level of ambition shown by all those I’ve encountered so far,” says David. 

“I’m looking forward to working with the sector within the city in tandem with bringing the very best work from all over the world to Worcester.  It's going to be an exciting couple of years and hopefully the start of Worcester becoming synonymous with the word Festival.”

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “We’d like to welcome David Edmunds at The Arches. His wealth of experience across the arts and culture sector promises for some great festivals in the future.

“This is a transformative time for Worcester, as the Cultural Development fund helps to build on the creativity that’s at the centre of the city’s future development. We are proud to support David and the city as The Arches project gets underway.”

The first festival, a Festival of Light, will be staged in early 2020 and will see a series of light based installations put up around the city.  Further details will be announced later in the year. 

David and his team will be based in The Arches-Worcester when the refurbishment is complete.  As well as delivering four major Worcester festivals, the team will support the organisers of smaller scale community festivals.

Note to editors

In January 2019 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £3m from the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England, towards the costs of the The Arches - Worcester.

The funding will be used to create a new key gateway for the city, following the line of the Victorian arches from Foregate Street railway station to The Hive and the river Severn.

Eight of the arches will be refurbished, becoming dynamic work and creative spaces, transforming the area into a modern, 21st Century workplace for creative industries, and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities. 

The project will be delivered by Worcester Cultural Partnership which is made up of:

  • Worcester City Council
  • The University of Worcester
  • Severn Arts
  • The Arch Company
  • Worcestershire County Council

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Find out more about the Cultural Development Fund.

No comments yet. Please sign in to comment.