BRIDPORT is gearing up to celebrate the town's artistic diversity as Dorset's first capital of culture 

The town is the inaugural town to receive the accolade and will hold it for the final six months of the year.

From July to December 2024, the ‘eventful town’ will host a diverse range of cultural activities, celebrating the creative community of Bridport.

Bridport 24 - Town of Culture, is an initiative spearheaded by Bridport Town Council, in partnership with Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport Youth and Community Centre, Bridport Museum, Lyric Theatre and many of the town’s independent makers, creatives, businesses and artists.

The 2024 programme sets out to encourage collaboration between artists, festivals, venues, and organisations, promoting co-production, opportunity and community engagement.

Bridport’s cultural offer features a broad spectrum of events and engagements, alongside working artists developing both their practice and the ‘eventful’ reputation of the town.

Bridport24 will launch on the first weekend of July, featuring performances in Buckydoo Square, the return of The Portrait Challenge, a night of music and dance from London’s iconic reggae and dancehall label Greensleeves at the Arts Centre.

More events will be announced in the future.

"We are thrilled to be Dorset's first Town of Culture," said Ian Bark, Leader of Bridport Town Council.

"This award is a testament to the vibrant artistic spirit that resides within our community.

"Bridport 2024 will celebrate the diverse talents within the town whilst providing a platform for young people to take active roles in shaping the cultural landscape of our town.

"Hopefully, we can also inspire other towns in Dorset to celebrate culture and diversity in the coming years."

A key focus for the project is a skills development programme for young adults.

Through mentorship and training, a group of up to 12 young adult creatives with diverse life experiences will gain leadership, event management, facilitation, curation, and technical skills.

They will work closely with local artists, festival organisers, and other creatives to co-curate, develop and enhance the town’s cultural offer, to ensure that their voices are represented.