Significant funding, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, has been awarded to Selby District Council to deliver a programme of arts and heritage events to celebrate the 950th anniversary of the founding of Selby Abbey. Cultural activity will include a parade, performances and street art to celebrate the town’s history.
Arts Council England has awarded just under £70,000 from its National Lottery Project Grants programme and the National Lottery Heritage Fund £45,000 which will allow the staging of a carnival style parade celebrating the Feast Day of the Abbey’s patron saint, a streetscape hidden history project, plus a schools song writing project and mass performance by local school children at the Abbey.
These events will lead up to a specially commissioned, light work in November that will see Selby Abbey illuminated over three nights by acclaimed artist Nayan Kulkarni. This arts installation is also being sponsored by Drax Group plc.
Selby District Council Executive Member, Cllr Chris Pearson, said, “Funding from the Arts Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund mean that we can deliver the full programme of events to celebrate this major milestone for the Abbey and the town. With a strong arts and heritage theme, this will be an exciting series of events for residents, businesses and visitors to the town.”
Drax Group Head of Sustainable Business Vicky Bullivant said, “A key theme of the Selby 950 celebrations has been bringing the community together. There is a real appetite from lots of different groups to come together and help mark this significant milestone for Selby’s iconic Abbey. We’re delighted to be involved.”
Lamp-post banners highlighting the Selby 950 programme are being installed along Gowthorpe. A number of events to celebrate Selby 950 have already taken place including the Tour de Yorkshire heritage stage 1 finish event, performances, concerts, talks and events for children with more planned throughout the year. The Abbey, Town Council, Selby Civic Society, Selby College, IHL, the Library and community groups have been organising their own events and activities to celebrate the milestone and a series of brass band concerts, with children’s entertainment, will also take place throughout the summer in Selby Park.
David Renwick, Area Director North, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re delighted to support the Selby 950 initiative; thanks to National Lottery players this important collaboration will bring the community together to take the lead in telling the ‘hidden histories’ of Selby to a new audience and strengthen the cultural offer during this important anniversary year.”
Nina Baptiste, Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England said “I’m delighted that we have supported the events marking Selby 950 through our National Lottery Project Grants programme. It promises to be a very special way to celebrate the milestone - one that everyone in the community and visitors can get involved in and it will also offer artists and organisations the opportunity to develop their artistic and cultural work.”