The Culture & Communities Working Group aims to encompass a very wide view of “culture” and include all community groups such as the churches, youth organisations, arts organisations, community centres, leisure and recreation initiatives and others. It is culture in the widest sense. In the words of the 2016 Culture White Paper the value of culture is threefold: intrinsic, social and economic. The social benefit is clearly linked to physical and mental well-being. The lower part of Bengeo down to the Town Centre has been identified in the Hertford Urban Development Strategy as Hertford Arts Quarter. There are plans to regenerate the Old McMullens Brewery and Old British School in Dimsdale Street as a Hertford Arts Hub with support from the University of Hertfordshire, Hertford Town Council and Arts Council England.
A community with a strong set of cultural activities is a healthy community and this is especially important for young people – for whom there is too little provision in Bengeo and Hertford generally.
Three key aims are to:
- Encourage and develop all cultural activities within the BNAP area by developing a community portal of the Love Bengeo website and engaging with local cultural groups.
- Ensure access to the widest possible variety of activities for all age groups and abilities by promoting existing premises and activities and encouraging fresh initiatives.
- Improve communication amongst current cultural activity suppliers.
We will explore the types of activities and event spaces that might be made available by the redevelopment of the Old British School.
If there is a desire for a dedicated community centre within Bengeo and where that might be located.
The development of a heritage trail through Bengeo, with key sign-posting and/or permanent notice boards.