Local attractions and venues have once again opened their doors to the public for the annual Heritage Open Days Festival which takes place from 11 to 20 September.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year’s event is smaller than usual, however there are still opportunities to visit buildings, gardens and places of historic interest not normally open to the public, free of charge. In addition, some venues are also offering virtual tours.
One of this year’s highlights which rounds off the celebration of heritage and culture in the District is the Paint the Yard Festival on Sunday 20 September 2020. A collaboration between Brink Contemporary Arts and Creative Leamington, the festival highlights their work in transforming Spencer Yard in Leamington in to a creative, playful space in which the public can interact with fascinating street art and contemporary murals. The site includes The Frontline Project mural, which pays tribute to the frontline workers of Leamington Spa.
Other local sites opening during the festival include Guy’s Cliffe Walled Garden, Hill Close Gardens, Foundry Wood, the Polish Centre, St Mary’s Allotments and Bagot’s Castle. A number of churches will also be open to visitors.
Chris and Martina, Creative Leamington founders, say: “We wanted to find a home for The Frontline Mural - a tribute to Leamington's Key Workers, however, after speaking to the businesses based at Spencer Yard, we realised this could be a launchpad for something bigger.
“The Spencer Yard car park is used primarily for some of the most dynamic and creative businesses in the town, and we wanted to reflect that by bringing colour, creativity and a sense of identity to the location.
“We worked with Brink Contemporary Arts to bring the walls to life at a time that we all could do with a lift. This Sunday we'll be hosting an exhibition of the work, with music, food and live painting. The public will be able to complete a digital self-guided tour of the artworks which will include a specially made video, created for Heritage Open Days, that will walk you through the fascinating history of the Spencer Yard site.
“This project comes at an exciting time as WDC are launching their Creative Framework and as plans for the Creative Quarter continue to be shaped, we're proud to play our part in the town's creative make up and hope that this will provide a taste of what's to come around the corner.
“We have created a booking system to ensure the event is appropriately socially distanced and ask people to please arrive at their booked time to make this process as smooth as possible.”
The Chairman of Warwick District Council, Councillor Martyn Ashford commented;
“I was pleased to be able to visit Spencer Yard to see the fantastic progress being made on the Paint the Yard initiative, and I would like to thank Brink Contemporary Art and the teams at Creative Leamington and Warwick District Council for collaborating on this exciting project.”
To book a visit to the Paint the Yard festival, visit www.creativeleamington.co.uk/pty