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Council set to form ceramics partnership with Harley Foundation

Posted onPosted on 1st Jun
Council set to form ceramics partnership with Harley Foundation

Nottinghamshire County Council is set to develop a ceramics partnership with the Harley Foundation Charitable Trust as part of its future arts provision in the county.

The partnership will see the Harley Foundation open a new ceramic studio, become the custodians of the county council’s ceramics collection and be ‘gifted’ studio equipment from the council to host ceramics workshops for the public.

The new relationship would form part of the county council’s continued commitment to delivering community arts services – with a full range of activities continuing to take place as part of its library and archives service including arts programming and exhibitions, the annual Earth and Fire International Ceramic Fair and the commissioning of Village Ventures.

The popular Big Draw event, which attracted several thousand participants across the county last year, would continue to be hosted in community centres, libraries and other community settings.

The county council has an extensive collection of studio pottery from donations and bequeathed items, and wants to ensure the collection is curated and made publicly accessible.

It plans to develop an online catalogue through the proposed partnership with the Harley Foundation – a partnership it believes will maintain the collection’s integrity and enable the county council to maintain ownership of the collection.

The partnership would also enable the Harley Foundation to expand its existing community and schools outreach programme, which specialises in visual arts and crafts, to include ceramic courses for the public.
As part of the plans, the current arts programme and gallery at Rufford Craft Centre would finish in July this year while alternative commercial uses are considered for the space, as part of the agreed development approach for the country park as a whole. All options would be considered with full participation of stakeholders and the public.

Peter Gaw, Group Manager for Libraries, Archives and Information Services, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “This is an exciting opportunity to formally develop our links with the Harley Foundation Charitable Trust. As a county council we are committed to developing innovative relationships with partners and continuing to support the countywide provision of arts services.”

Lisa Gee, Director, of the Harley Foundation said: “The Harley Foundation is excited about the possibilities of developing a ceramics studio at Welbeck that can be used by artists, schools and community groups. We look forward to continued partnership working with Nottinghamshire County Council in the future.”

The plans form part of the county council’s commitment to ‘Doing things differently’, as it faces severe financial pressures and must save £77m by 2017/18 to balance its books. Proposals for its future arts provision make savings and protect a budget of £140,000 with these plans initially published as part of last year’s Budget setting process.

The proposal will be discussed by the council’s Culture Committee at its meeting on June 9.