Eskdale Festival is '˜crucial' for creative arts

The chairman of the Eskdale Festival of the Arts, Dave Bradley, is committed to involving more schools than ever before in the annual festival which is held in March at Whitby Pavilion.

Saturday, 12th November 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:35 pm
Eskdale Festival of Arts, Whitby Pavillion. Fyling Hall winners.

Last year, the festival attracted more than 2,500 entries involving 500 young people and 200 adults.

However, Mr Bradley is keen for these numbers to increase in the coming years because the arts curriculum in schools has been increasingly squeezed by successive governments.

“Britain’s creative industries are the envy of the world and over 5.2% of the UK’s economy is tied up in them but over the last ten years many schools have had to reduce time spent on arts subjects,” he said.

“Headteachers are under enormous pressure to produce the very best SATs results and the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) has further reduced the number of students taking music, drama, art and dance at the age of 16.

“I believe that participation in arts festivals, like ours, is crucial if we are to maintain our expertise in the creative sector.”

Local schools, colleges and groups have been sent the entry form and festival syllabus for 2017. Further copies are available from Sue Rowland, Rose Cottage, Stainsacre, Whitby, YO22 4NT. Entries are required by January 20.