Shepton Mallet Town Council launches unprecedented programme of free summertime events and activities in partnership with local organisations and businesses.

This Summer is set to be a busy one for the residents of Shepton Mallet: this week the Town Council has revealed a programme of free events and activities covering every week of July and August. The decision was made earlier this Spring to invest in supporting the social and cultural revival of the town as we emerge from lockdown. Local organisations and businesses were invited to pitch for funding to deliver a wide range of activities and events which would offer something for everyone. Councillors Sharon Hale, Gavin Mayall and Tim O’Connor were instrumental in steering the initiative, working with Town Council officers to design a programme with something on offer every weekend of July and August.

Councillor Tim O’Connor, chair of the committee presiding over the initiate, says: “Why risk a holiday abroad this summer when your Town Council is putting on free events right here in Shepton every single week over July and August, using the wealth of creative talent we have here in the town, there’s something for everyone. This marks the start of a new approach of how we will deliver for you. Time for some fun this summer. ”

Residents can expect a diverse programme which includes yoga in Collett Park on a weekly basis, an outdoor cinema event in St Paul’s school grounds, hula hoop workshops, pantomime, appearances by the beloved Fairy Godmother and more. Moreover, all of the acts, entertainers and event organisers are locally based in and around Shepton Mallet ensuring that the initiative is also directly supporting the local economy. Indirectly, the programme should help make Shepton a popular destination for the Summer at a time where more people than ever will be holidaying at home in Great Britain. The Town Council will be working with the Tourist Information Centres of Frome, Wells and Glastonbury to ensure Shepton is on the visitor map. Local shops, cafés, pubs, restaurants, B&Bs and others in the visitor economy are all set to benefit from increased footfall to the town centre. Councillor Matt Harrison, Chair of the Council, says: “Over the past few weeks we’ve seen improvements to the town centre of Shepton. But today we’re announcing not just a physical revival but a cultural revival for Shepton! Summer in Shepton is a programme of events, happening every weekend throughout the summer, free to all and showcasing local artistic talent.”

Included in the programme are also events being run by organisations and businesses supported by the Town Council: The Art Bank’s much awaited LGBTQ+ ‘Friends of Dorothy’ festival, the premier of Shepton’s own literary festival ‘Literally Shepton’ and second edition of Love Your Library Day, and Make the Sunshine’s ‘All The World’s Our Playground’ back by popular request after last year’s success. Louise Lappin-Cook, Director of Make The Sunshine – one of the organisations running events this Summer – says: “It’s been such a challenging year for families and businesses. We are so lucky that we have such an innovative and ambitious Town Council here in Shepton Mallet that is committed to investing in arts and culture. Community activity like this will have a hugely positive impact on health and wellbeing as well as supporting local businesses, not to mention providing some much needed fun and entertainment! It’s such an exciting programme of events – Shepton Mallet is clearly the place to be this Summer!”.

Full details of what is happening and how to join (booking may be required for certain events) will be available on the Town Council website and on the Town Council’s Facebook page.