New trail will celebrate Arran’s rich arts heritage

Arran Theatre and Arts Trust arts coordinator Eileen Kerr.

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By Hugh Boag

Work on a new Arran Arts Heritage Trail is pressing ahead, despite current lockdown restrictions.

Arran Theatre and Arts Trust has received support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the trail which will celebrate Arran’s rich arts heritage.

The trail, which it is hoped will be established next year, will be an interactive way for people to travel around the island and visit locations where artists have painted landscapes of Arran.

It will see the creation of an archive, physical place markers, a website and a leaflet.

The trail will make it possible for locals and visitors to visit, learn about and appreciate the locations which have inspired so many prominent artists. It will be a tourism draw, an educational tool and a chance for the community to come together and learn new skills. A new arts archive will be added to the fantastic collection held at Arran Heritage Museum.

Core to the project, a heritage research group will be recruited to comprise what will be the archive and the detail for the physical trail. Participants in the group will have the opportunity to learn and expand archiving and research skills, working with an experienced researcher to undertake vital research.

Group activities will initially be co-ordinated digitally, with the aim of meeting in person later in the summer when COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.

Those interested in getting involved with the research group should contact Simon Ross-Gill on arranartsheritagetrail@gmail.com.

The trust will also be looking for a filmmaker to document the research process and two young people to intern with the website development company.

This project is being funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Arran Trust and is being overseen by the trust, a charity which supports the continual development of the arts on Arran. For more information or to get in touch visit www.arrantheatreandarts.co.uk.

Arran Theatre and Arts Trust arts co-ordinator Eileen Kerr said: ‘We’re delighted we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players and through the Arran Trust. This is an exciting and important project for Arran. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the communities of Arran coming together as part of it.’

Caroline Clark, director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: ‘The fund wants to inspire as many people as possible to explore and enjoy the heritage around them. The arts heritage trail will do just that, encouraging visitors and locals to discover more of the island’s wonderful natural heritage while celebrating its rich contribution to the arts.’

Sheila Gilmore, on behalf of Arran Trust said: ‘The Arran Trust is pleased to have been able to offer support to this innovative project which will look at the heritage of arts on Arran. This will offer something unique for visitors and residents.’

Councillor Louise McPhater, cabinet member for communities at North Ayrshire Council, said: ‘The launch of the arts heritage trail is fantastic news for Arran.

‘Thanks to the recent funding boost, the creation of this exciting heritage trail will help put the island on the radar of the wider arts community while boosting the economy and putting the talent of inspirational local artists on the map.

‘This really is a rare opportunity to celebrate the cultural and artistic heritage of Arran while working together with the extended community to promote one of North Ayrshire’s most idyllic tourist spots.’

 

Arts co-ordinator Eileen Kerr with members of the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust.

Arran Theatre and Arts Trust arts co-ordinator Eileen Kerr. No_B11ART01