An Open Letter regarding Regeneration

The Maidenhead Arts Council has penned an open letter to the RBWM Council calling for better provision of facilities for the arts and heritage community in Maidenhead. An article about the letter was published recently in the Maidenhead Advertiser (28 Feb. No. 7160), prompting a response from the Council Leader, Cllr Simon Dudley. We encourage members of Maidenhead Arts and all those interested in the future of the arts community of Maidenhead to continue the dialogue by writing letters to your council leaders and to the Maidenhead Advertiser.

The Open Letter can be read in full below.

An Open Letter to the Leader of RBWM Council, and the leaders of all Maidenhead political parties

As the representatives of approx. 30 Arts, Culture and Heritage groups located in Maidenhead, and as the organisation originally founded to create the Norden Farm Arts Centre, we are writing to you to express our concern and that of our member groups, that the plans for the Regeneration of the town centre of Maidenhead (in particular the York Road area, which has previously been described as a “Cultural Centre” and is now being labelled as a “Civic Centre”)  do not seem to be making any serious or forward-looking provision for the improvement of facilities for Maidenhead’s various Arts, Culture and Heritage activities.

We therefore ask that in the upcoming local elections, proper attention must be paid to this important aspect of life in our community.

Maidenhead has always had a vibrant and active Cultural community. By engaging properly with all those who provide Arts, Culture and Heritage, our town will become a more desirable place to live and work, attracting visitors from far and wide – potentially even from abroad!

The Arts community needs the support of our civic and political leaders to share this vision. Alone, we cannot create performance spaces… nor rehearsal facilities… nor places for meetings and events. Everyone must come together behind the vision that is needed to propel Maidenhead into a leading position, recognised widely as a desirable place to visit and live, because of our vibrant Arts, Culture and Heritage offerings.

We believe that it is vital that this is recognised by those charged with the governance and management of our town and so we now ask that all local political parties should include realistic and deliverable promises in their manifestos for the upcoming local elections, to engage positively with the wider Arts community and do everything in their power to create an Arts, Culture and Heritage friendly environment in Maidenhead!

We have a golden opportunity, now that we are embarking on regeneration…. If we do not take it we will clearly end up with a town with many more residents but little to offer them, that would encourage them to linger in the town centre and enjoy what Maidenhead can provide.

Please commit to our electorate that you will recognise this opportunity and rise to the challenge.

Yours sincerely

Alan Mellins

Chairman – on behalf of the Executive Committee of Maidenhead Arts Council

26 February 2019

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