Deliverable ID:



A Guisborough Arts Centre



Date Entered:


Enhance Guisborough

Sub Category:


Submitted By:

Bernard Clarke


Helmsley (population 3,097 in 2001) has an arts centre; Guisborough (population 17,591) does not.

Guisborough needs and deserves its own arts ‘hub’:

  • an auditorium and gallery space dedicated to presenting creative work to the public
  • not just a borrowed / rented space where creativity is tolerated as long as it does not interfere with some other function (education, worship, catering, etc)
  • an outlet for local “creatives” to develop their powers and enhance the creative economy
  • instead of forcing them (and their audiences) to go elsewhere
  • a place where people can meet up and ideas can cross-fertilise
  • a springboard for local creative enterprise and new businesses
  • which regenerates the local economy
  • and draws in tourists, audiences, and those who work in the creative economy
  • … providing a reason for visitors to stop a bit longer and spend more, not just visit the snack bar on the car park, during a coach trip to somewhere else.

Who benefits?

  • Local residents gain better access to the arts
  • Local writers, comedians, musicians, workshop leaders, actors, producers, directors, sculptors, painters, crafts workers etc get an outlet and an opportunity to earn a living locally
  • The local economy benefits from spin-off activities of the arts and current local businesses gain another outlet (an arts centre shop and cafe would be an outlet for local bookshop, local teashops, local printers (print reproductions of art works) and an opportunity to revive the local music shop…)
  • Young people who get the chance to develop their abilities, access an audience and perhaps gain a future career
  • The residents of Guisborough, gaining better access to the arts
  • The environment (less travelling out of the area because the arts can be accessed here)


The power of art to regenerate local economies is well attested… e.g.:

Placemaking & Social Engagement

Art activities (such as galleries) play a vital role in urban planning and community development, which boosts local economies and leads to more innovation, cultural variety, and civic involvement. People come not just to enjoy artwork but also to receive fuel for their daily lives. People can work with groups, art galleries, and federal agencies to help construct a cultural network in society. Communities and companies gain from increased social cohesiveness, better health and economic benefits, and the creative energy and beauty of a place enriched by arts and culture. Public art inspires individuals to take action dynamically to benefit society.

Economic Growth

Art activities generate jobs while stimulating local economies through consumer spending and tourism. Crafts, advertising, graphic arts, and cultural tourism are all part of the art and culture industry. Through taxation, creative sectors directly contribute to the economy.

Cultural Development

The town’s creative economy should be measured. The local authorities can better map their cultural and art assets to grasp these creative businesses’ economic benefits. This includes keeping art industry data up to date and conducting a continuous inventory of art assets. A continuous inventory assists in determining the economic benefit of art and culture to a community. This allows them to save vital arts and cultural data that can be utilised to guide local and state economic development policies. The information gathered is utilised to build local economic development and tourist projects and coordinate cultural development activities. Because the importance of art activities such as galleries in town and local economic growth is sometimes underestimated, particular attention should be paid to them.

For a large-scale case study see “Tate Liverpool: The ‘risky’ gallery that revived a city” (“the idea that art could be an economic driver didn’t figure for me. But, looking back, that was out of date”).

Comparison site: Helmsley Art Centre

Link to >>> Helmsley Art Centre (HAC)

This thriving centre for the arts in the small market town of Helmsley offers the broadest range of theatre, music of all genres, comedy, spoken word, talks and exhibitions. HAC also screens productions from National Theatre Live, as well as other top quality opera and ballet screened live from Glyndebourne and the Bolshoi Ballet. The 140-seat Auditorium is a first class cinema too, showing a variety of films to suit all ages and tastes. The Studio Bar, which seats 55, is used as an intimate performance space for theatre and cabaret, as well as a meeting room and bar.

HAC also offers regular classes, one-off workshops, half term and holiday activities for all ages across all art forms, from ballet, yoga, community choir and creative writing to musical theatre, youth projects and a huge variety of visual arts.

Technical Spec of Helmsley Arts Centre:

Stage / AreaDimensionsHeightCapacity
Auditorium Stage Area7.5m x 7mFloor to Ceiling – 6m138
Studio Bar Floor Area9m x 7.25mFloor to Ceiling – 2.25m55
Cinema5.5m x 3m


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