Tamworth up for three awards in Midlands-wide art contest

Tamworth Borough Council has been shortlisted for three top awards in a Midlands-wide competition recognising the best of the best in arts and entertainment – and your votes are now needed to bring the titles home.

Tamworth Castle, the town’s popular St George’s Day festival and the Tamworth Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative have all been shortlisted for honours in the 2018 What’s On Readers’ Awards after being nominated by readers of the arts and entertainment guide.

Our landmark Tamworth Castle has made it to the final line-up in the Best Visitor Attraction in Staffordshire category alongside some of the UK’s top tourist destinations. It will be competing for the title against Alton Towers, Cannock Chase Visitors Centre, Lichfield Cathedral, Drayton Manor Park and the National Memorial Arboretum.

The annual free St George’s Day event, organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, attracts thousands of people to the Castle Grounds every year for a day of fun medieval-themed activities for the whole family. It has been shortlisted for Best Event in Staffordshire, competing against the Bonfire and Fireworks Display at Trentham, Cathedral Illuminated, Scarefest at Alton Towers and Lichfield Proms in the Park.

Finally, the two-year Tamworth Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative has been shortlisted for Best Staffordshire Festival, against Lichfield Arts’ Fuse Festival, Lichfield Festival and Lichfield Food Festival.
Arts in Unusual Spaces, developed by the council’s Arts & Events team, has seen art popping up in unusual spaces across the town through a variety of innovative and ambitious community arts projects. It was made possible thanks to a £68,000 grant from Arts Council England, with match funding from Tamworth Borough Council and community partners.

The project has included a wide variety of exciting and never-before-seen initiatives for Tamworth, including a striking new sculpture of Lady Aethelflaed which is being created for the town centre, bus shelter art, a big draw event, a massive community mosaic which is currently being worked on, theatre in new community locations, a film depicting a day in the life of Tamworth and an original WW1 commemorative song performed by local choirs.

Tamworth has another nominee vying for a top title with Christopher’s Bistro in the running for the Best Independent Restaurant in South Staffordshire title.

Thousands of people voted to determine the county and regional finalists and winners will now be decided through online voting by members of the public, open until March 2.

The town has been shortlisted for awards in previous years, and it is hoped that residents get behind the campaign to secure the honours this year.

Cllr Rob Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see that we are winning nominations in this Midlands-wide competition alongside some of the biggest tourist attractions in the country, as it shows that we are getting Tamworth on the map.

“There is a lot of hard work going on in Tamworth to create events, attractions and initiatives that raise our profile and bring more visitors to the area, so it would be great if people now helped take us past the finishing line to win one – or all! – of these awards.

“If anyone has visited Tamworth Castle, enjoyed the St George’s Day extravaganza, or taken part in one of the many Arts in Unusual Spaces initiatives (www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/arts-unusual-spaces) we’d love for them to go online and give us a vote. It only takes a few minutes.”

Votes can be cast by selecting the Staffordshire category of the awards at www.whatsonlive.co.uk/readers-awards-2018 before the closing date of March 2. Winners will be revealed a few weeks later.