Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy salutes garden city’s first Arts Takeover

Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy talks all things garden city in his weekly Comet column.

Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy talks all things garden city in his weekly Comet column. - Credit: Archant

The first ever Letchworth Arts Takeover was held at the weekend.

It was aimed at showcasing the town centre’s ‘arts’ offer and allowed businesses to promote and demonstrate the wide range of activities on offer.

It highlighted to me how much there is to see and do in the town.

ICAS Vilas Fine Art put out all the stops by bringing the internationally-renowned sculpture, John W Mills.

They laid out a red carpet and organised a meet-and-greet marquee area out the front of their shop.

Digswell Arts Trust also opened its doors for free demonstrations and taster sessions throughout the day.

It was great to include so many fantastic town centre businesses in this event and delivered a refreshing change to the popular food and drink events.

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David’s Book and Music Shop, Broadway Gallery, Imperial Arts Audio Gallery, Alice’s Wonderland & Chicks Embroidery, and the Norton Way Gallery were just some of the businesses that got involved.

To top it off, the giant 50ft inflatable whale on Leys Square was a great success and attracted huge numbers of children to climb inside and experience a storytelling performance.

Despite the weather, hundreds of visitors came into the town to experience the event, use the shops and complete the arts


The main stage in Station Road and the Comedy and Poetry Stage in The Wynd were both well-received and added a great atmosphere, with a wide variety of acts and musicians.

If this event gets you in the ‘arty’ mood, there are plenty of places in the town centre to purchase materials.

As well as WH Smith and Wilko, Arena Stationers in Arena Parade and Garden City Crafts in The Wynd are our two great independent businesses selling high-quality arts, crafts and stationery equipment.

The Letchworth BID, which is funded and led by the town centre businesses, has worked hard to make this free community event possible.

I am delighted that we have managed to engage so many great businesses in this event to highlight not just the arts in Letchworth but the growing business community in our fantastic town centre.

For more see loveletchworth.com, email Tom at bid@loveletchworth.com, or follow Love Letchworth on Facebook and Twitter.