I had a fantastic time doing the workshop and event at the Kirkgate yesterday. In one of my many chats with my colleague between the workshop and the evening event he said something which really struck me, and I wanted to pass it on.

He told me how lucky Cockermouth was to have an arts centre like the Kirkgate. He was saying that they have nothing like it where he’s based, that enables and generates work with local artists and creatives. He was full of praise for the way he could see the Kirkgate giving opportunities to local artists and creatives, as well as creating a platform for community engagement and creativity.

What he said made me realise that – although I’ve always been incredibly glad that the Kirkgate exists, and it’s one of my favourite things about Cockermouth – it’s not until you hear about the gap that’s left in places which don’t have an equivalent that the real value of the work the Kirkgate does hits home.

I wanted to pass on these reflections because I know there must be hundreds of challenges to overcome and endless problems to solve in running a place like the Kirkgate, and here’s an artist with 30 years experience of doing community arts projects all over the world singing the praises of the art centre on our doorstep.

So hurrah for the Kirkgate, and please know how much the work that the Kirkgate team of staff, volunteers and trustees does is immensely important and valued.