Posts Tagged ‘derby feste’

Proposed cuts to arts and culture could threaten future business investment in Derby

Friday, October 28th, 2011


I speak for us all at Katapult when I say that we were shocked and hugely disappointed to read that Derby City Council are proposing to make drastic cuts to arts and culture in our city. The plans show the intention to completely withdraw funding to two of the city’s key venues, QUAD and Deda over the next four years. Alongside other cuts to cultural and community organisations, this sends out a very concerning message about our city, its ambitions and its future.

The ‘Revenue Budget Proposal’ acknowledges that these venues will now need to source alternative funding and/or become self financing. These organisations were never supposed to be solely commercial venues and would never have received Arts Council Funding if that were the case.

The 2009-2011 Cultural Strategy for Derby ‘Action Plan’ outlined its vision in ‘ensuring that the importance of culture in the economy of the city is better understood’, which is now just one of many points which seems contradictory.

Culturally incredible progress has been achieved in Derby in recent years. Format has been internationally recognised as a leading photography festival and Derby Feste, founded by Keith Jeffrey (QUAD) and Stephen Munn (Deda) attracted over 25,000 people to the streets of Derby last month. This demonstrates the potential for cultural activities and their associated opportunities.


As well as the social impact, businesses in the supply chain to these venues will be directly affected. QUAD spent £377k with local suppliers in 2010/11, ironically this is more than Derby City Council invested in the venue. Between them, QUAD and Deda have generated millions of pounds worth of international profile for the city, helping to attract new investment. Drastic cuts not only devalue these organisations and their impact, but demonstrate a lack of understanding over the social and economic benefits that culture plays in the development of the city.

It’s certainly important to Katapult, which is why we have invested in and supported cultural activities in the city. A strong cultural offer is key to attracting and retaining creative professionals which is important to our business.


A city to invest in?

The cuts raise a wider discussion on the future of Derby’s city centre. We know that Derby is home to some strong and established businesses that provide the economic backbone of the city and we hear great things about the city’s industrial strength. However, every top-drawer city has more to offer than industrial heritage.

By further developing the cultural offering – more independent bars, shops and restaurants for example – we could increase footfall, encourage localised spending and help attract new business to the city. It is only through long term commitment and investment that success will be achieved.

The Council states that it expects to make a loss in rental income from Derby’s indoor markets of £210,000 in 2012/2013 and a review of markets will take place to understand the pressures faced. This provides a perfect opportunity for the Council to work proactively with independent and creative retailers on finding a potential solution to these pressures.  The aim should be to produce a more attractive retail offer in line with the type of markets found in nearby cities such as Leeds and Birmingham.

Reports such as the Centre for Cities ‘Shifting the Gears’ claim that Derby must reach out beyond its borders and its traditional industrial base to grow. Shouldn’t now be the time that the city looks to further invest in the creative and cultural industries: the third fastest growing sector in the UK?

The short-sightedness of the council makes businesses like ours concerned about the future of our city.  Culture is a vital aspect of an aspirational city, not just a nice-to-have.

Here’s how you can make your voice heard and support the ‘Save Derby Arts and Culture’ campaign:

1)      Get informed about Derby City Council’s specific plans by looking at the budget proposal
2)      Fill in the feedback form. The section relating to arts and culture cuts is under the ‘Neighbourhoods’ section. You have until Friday 18 November to do this.
3)      Send your stories in a polite email to Derby City Council leader Philip Hickson and deputy leader Hilary Jones.
4)      Share your stories on the Facebook page Save Derby Arts and follow the campaign on Twitter @SaveDerbyArts
5)      Write to the Derby Telegraph with your stories and ask the editor Steve Hall and entertainment editor Nigel Powlson to run a campaign.
6)      Support the organisations affected by the proposed cuts by going to their events and exhibitions, eating and drinking in their cafes and bars and taking part in their participatory projects.

Author: Dawn Foote, Managing Director

Busy Derby Feste Weekend

Monday, September 7th, 2009

In addition to representing our city in the Search Party VS Derby table tennis tournament, the Katapult team were also around to sample the rest of the events on offer over the Derby Feste weekend.

We took part in some unusual activities at QUAD on Saturday afternoon. Dawn and Dan had an intimate experience in the Coors Cafe Bar taking part in the Etiquette event; all we know is there was headphones and role playing involved. Meanwhile some of us were using our ‘creativity’ in the QUADMOS project, helping to make a solar system made up of Derby towns. We created a Chaddesden/Chester Green planet. Pop in to QUAD to have a look or make your own! All efforts will be exhibited in QUAD later this year.

Saturday evening entertainment began for us watching bands on Cathedral Green and chuckling at the very funny Vegetable Nannies. We then made our way to the market place for what we think was the highlight of the weekend, the Mobile Homme Transe Express drummers! Hoards of people gathered to watch as the drummers came banging their way through the crowds before being attached to a giant crane and lifted high into the Derby sky, above the Guildhall and QUAD.

transe express drummers

transe express

transe express

addictive TV

The evening ended with a unique performance by the world’s number one Audio Visual artists Addictive TV (above), who got everyone moving again with their blend of classic and contemporary film, dance music and stunning visuals with a spectacular performance using the BBC Big Screen.

Although in true concert tradition, it poured on Sunday evening for the start of the Darley Park Concert, it did dry up later in time for the incredible classical crescendo and fireworks. Thousands of people sat the rain out to see the end of the Derby Feste celebrations for another year.

See more photos on flickr

Katapult VS Search Party Ping Pong Match

Monday, September 7th, 2009

dawn vs search party ping pong

phil vs search party ping pong

Katapult decided to take part in the Search Party VS Derby table tennis game in the market place on Saturday, another aspect of the weekend’s Feste activities!

The Katapult team donned multi coloured sweat bands to take on Search Party’s Jodie. This must have worked because we did pretty well – gaining 3 out of 4 possible wins for Derby. I still feel bad for letting the side down. Sorry guys!

Good news is, by the end of the two days of play Derby beat Search Party! So, pat on the back to Katapult’s Dawn, Dan and Phil for their contribution!

Herbert’s Dream launches Derby Feste

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Derby Feste was officially launched at Derby Museum & Art Gallery on Friday with a few words from Stephen Munn from Deda and Helen Osler from Derby City Council.

herberts dream

Image Credit Seamus McKenna

We then gathered outside where we were greeted by four tall, mysterious figures who led a growing crowd up to Cathedral Green. At Cathedral Green, they then transformed into huge unearthly beings that magically lit up and performed a dancing ritual which culminated in the release of a huge ball of light into the sky, bright enough to light up the entire Green. The Close-Act characters then led people off into the market place for the big street party.

herberts dream

Image Credit Seamus McKenna

We all enjoyed the Derbyshire Volunteers Ceilidh Band who got everyone up and dancing in the market place, some of us got quite confused with the moves! The centre was buzzing with people all enjoying the continental feel that had spread over Derby.

Derby Feste Weekend 4-6 September

Friday, August 28th, 2009


The Derby Feste 2009 weekend is fast approaching! Following the successful events of 2007 and 2008, this will be the third year that Katapult have been involved with the festival, producing the promotional materials including the programme, posters, outdoor media and a content managed microsite.

The three day spectacular begins next Friday and takes place in various venues across the city from the heart of the historic Cathedral Quarter, to the Westfield centre and Darley Park. Some of the fantastic performances on offer include Herbert’s Dream, Transe Express and Addictive TV, along with popular events such as Picnic on the Green and the Darley Park Concert. Go to the Derby Feste website to find out what else is on.