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Anniversary thoughts about Artisans Collective, The Old Library Prestatyn

Our 4th Anniversary where has the time gone?

Artisans Collective CIC 4th Anniversary
Artisans Collective Prestatyn Anniversary

On our anniversary where do I start to talk about the massive impact that the past 4 years have had on my life?

Maybe by turning the clock back to a year before we moved into the old library. 

Prestatyn was about to be changed forever with the opening of a new shopping park. A lot of people believed that its arrival would mark the start of the decline of our traditional high st.

My background as a business development manager made me think otherwise. I think now in 2018 we still have a brilliant town centre in Prestatyn.

With the support of our business forum and town council. A very small group of local artists and craftspeople set about creating Totally Local Prestatyn.

Totally Locally is a free marketing kit that creates strong, vibrant towns and sustainable local economies.

Independent businesses and shops are the bedrock of our communities, and when they thrive they create real jobs, cohesive towns and strong economies. Totally Locally helps people to rediscover and fall in love with their high streets.

Anniversary of totally locally launch 2013
Our friend Neil, Chris Ruane MP at the time an old dragon and somebody in costume. At the Totally Locally Prestatyn launch

As result of this my volunteering within the Prestatyn community was started.  Wow I have just realised am in my 6th year of volunteering now!

You can see what an average week consists of here. Also events are featured on the Artisans Collective Website here.

As part of Totally Locally Prestatyn, we ran Artisan fairs on the high st and town centre car parks. To raise awareness that our wonderful town had much more than just a shopping park.

The Old Library.

I cannot actually remember who came up with the idea but no doubt it was over a coffee during an artisan market somewhere,

Denbighshire County Council were upgrading the Library service in Prestatyn and moving into a new facility. Which meant our town centre would have a derelict building facing a brand new shopping park .

No better place to turn into an outlet for local artisans were our thoughts.

From retail to a creative community hub.

Within a very short space of time of moving in Four years ago we realised that our community wanted more than a retail outlet on the site. Also that we had the space to enable other activities.

In fact before we officially opened to the public alongside the town council we ran our 3rd halloween event from the building. Something we will be doing again this week for the 6th time in 2018.

We had already been working on children’s arts and craft events. So it was a natural progression to offer them to the public each week.

Jayne’s junior artisans was born, soon to be followed by a meeting with the lovely Aimee.

Who asked us if she could use our room at the back to host an adult art group. Instantly we recognised Aimee’s ethos was the same as ours. 

We have literally carried out 1000’s of different art and crafts activities with groups over the past 5 years,

Aimee’s Friday art group was formed and continues to go from strength to strength. She has taught me a lot, as the least arty of us all, without me raising a brush, pencil, or pen. 

Anniversary Owl
As a wise owl once said (picture from a juniors activity over 4 years ago.)

Creativity takes many forms, and we are all creative in different ways. By practicing that creativity it helps our health and wellbeing. Physically and Mentally. 

Thanks for helping me realise this xx

Tardis time.

So now in 2018 here I sit using the hour that the swap back to GMT has given me reflecting on the past Six years.

Gosh – lots has changed, with some of us going our different ways, hopefully to start things that will suit them more. I certainly wish them the best of luck.

You can not take away the fact that the personal creativity and love of our town that pulled us together 6 years ago. Is still a common thread that needs to respected and defended.

So what next?

Personally for me it is a 5 year plan to ensure the longevity and success of a sustainable community hub in the centre of Prestatyn. A succession plan if you like?

Over the past few years I have travelled across the UK promoting the voluntary work that we all do in Prestatyn. Whilst also recognising some of the work of PTC.

On our fourth anniversary in the old library, I would like to think we are getting close to achieving our goals.

As we say in motorsport not until you see the chequered flag waved above you, is the race over.

And finally……

Over the past few months we have done lots of presentations and media stuff.

With lots of different subjects from social prescribing, creating connected communities, health and wellbeing through creativity.

The list is immense with lots of buzz sayings and other things beginning with the same initials.

For me personally it is all about friends and community.

So a huge thanks to all the friends I have made though all of the activities I get involved with.

Including Prestatyn Mens Shed, Coffee Pod, Aimee’s Art group, Jayne’s Junior artisans, Prestatyn Dementia Community, Prestatyn in Bloom, Grow Wild, Morfa Gateway project and lots more.

Including the lads and lasses I share a pint and a chat with now and then. We will have an Anniversary chat soon 🙂

By Pete

Currently I am a director/volunteer of Artisans Collective in Prestatyn North Wales, and also involved with Men’s Shed Prestatyn and Morfa Gateway Projects.

Chair of Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community, Also hold a number of posts on various steering and implementation wellbeing groups in North Wales.

All views on this site are my own and not linked to any organisation.

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