Chester has a proven appetite for culture, with an established population of practising and upcoming artists. However, there is a clear gap in the provision of high-quality visual art within the region. At CVA, we have started to fill this gap, building a local visual arts audience whilst developing a vibrant culture for the region.

Through a programme of regular events and exhibitions, we aim to provide stimulating, cultural, and educational experiences, benefiting the wider public and young people. This includes accessible workshops, talks, learning opportunities and more.

Following the pandemic, arts and culture have taken on an even greater significance in their contribution to the restoration of minds, through the renewal of community and the economy.

From providing jobs to making places better to live, arts and culture make a huge contribution to the economy. In addition to building and amplifying the success of innovative industries, accessibility to art makes a region a more attractive place to live for people and families working in any industry. Not only do they bring prosperity, but they also bring communities together and bring a richness to life.

Recent research has revealed the vital role art and culture play in helping cities like Chester, recover from the economic downturn. The industry (which includes museums and galleries, performing arts, music, and film) and creative industries contribute £76.4 billion to the UK economy annually. The UK has a creative economy worth of £27 billion, with culture bringing £850 million through tourism.

This evidence shows the integral role arts and culture play in its recovery.

Theatres, museums, galleries, and libraries are the beating heart of our towns and cities. Through investment and support, the arts sector must be continuously involved in the conversation of shaping policies around the future of the industry in order to maximise potential growth. The key is coming together and doing the work to make it happen.

“We want to bring art to the heart of Chester and the success of these exhibitions show there is a real passion for art in the region. Our aim is to give art a home and create a permanent home in the heart of the city.” – Ian Short, Chairman of Chester Visual Arts.