As the cultural landscape of Doncaster continues to grow, we asked four of the borough’s
prominent figures what was the next step for culture in Doncaster? Here our panel shout
about the positive things on the horizon. Let us know what you think. What do you think? Email opinions to this and any other topic to firstname.lastname@example.org address
Project director, Right Up Our Street, Sally Lockey
Culture in Doncaster is diverse and thriving. There are so many organisations doing great things to improve the cultural offering and working together to share best practice. We’ve got the DN Festival taking place in Sir Nigel Gresley Square on July 28 when international artists will be performing, as well as Yorkshire artists, showcasing their works to the people of Doncaster. Events like this are a great opportunity for people to engage with the arts and culture and to find out more about how they can get involved in projects in their home town. DN Festival is free to attend and there will be a number of British Sign Language signed events, making the festival more accessible to deaf people in our community. Later this year, November 16 -24, we will host our first ever DN Festival of Light in town.
Chief executive of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, Michael Hart
As a proud Doncastrian I am always pleased to shout about the fantastic things that take place in the town.
We have a great theatre in CAST that brings a range of diverse performances to the town, we have our music and comedy events that take place at The Dome and The Leopard and we have the creative arts activities that are put on by The Point and Right Up Our Street.
In addition to these things there really is something for everyone, from families to individuals, lovers of ballet to hard rock.
What needs to happen next in Doncaster is a real pulling together of these organisations to make sure that these events and activities are attracting not only Doncaster residents to them but also bringing people in from other areas. Doncaster is a town with a number of great cultural events and needs to be recognised for them.
Chairman of trustees at Doncaster Deaf Trust, Bobbie Roberts
Where else in the country do you get a fully British Sign Language integrated Pantomime? Nowhere, that is the answer. In Doncaster we have that thanks to CAST and the team recognising the needs of the town. The fact is we have some great people, employed in the art and culture sector and the range of events and activities is thanks to them and their switched on approach. Our pupils and students look forward to the panto each year because they feel it is accessible to them. This year’s DN Festival is going to have signed performances. This means our students can get more out of the event. A great start and something we’d like to see more of. We want to see culture and arts higher on the agenda, with more delivered to Doncaster audiences and more recognising the needs of the town’s diverse audiences.
Executive director of Doncaster Racecourse, Tim Banfield
Having a range of strong cultural programs has benefited major cities in the UK including such as Liverpool, Glasgow and Hull.
Programmes whereby the profile of culture has been raised throughout those areas, has had a positive impact on their image, their self-belief and also the economic activity in those areas. There is a good programme of events and engagement in Doncaster and of course the St Leger Festival is a world class event in Doncaster, where the community gets together not just at the racecourse but also in the town. Whether delivered by big set piece events or projects through schools, for me the cultural ambition going forward should focus on local participation, building a sense of pride and a feeling that Doncaster is a great place to be.