A youth consultation evening with young people

Surrey Youth Arts and Culture Festival


This summer, Surrey based cultural organisations, creative industries and education providers will come together to deliver the Surrey Youth Arts and Culture Festivals 2023.

The festivals have been developed by Surrey County Council Libraries, Arts Services and Community Engagement team, in partnership with local and regional stakeholders, including Spelthorne Borough Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Visit Staines BID, the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre Staines-upon-Thames, Harlequin Theatre Redhill, Spelthorne Youth Hub, YMCA and a wide range of cultural and community organisations.

Image: A youth consultation evening with young people

The two festivals will take place on Saturday 1st July in Staines-upon-Thames and  Saturday 8th of July in Redhill, providing exciting interactive activities for young people aged 11 – 16 to learn about the creative sectors.

The events will feature performances by local arts groups; talks and panel discussions from creative industry experts; and workshops and activities, with support from organisations such as, University of Creative Arts, University of Surrey, Royal Holloway University London, Amazon Film Studios, Pinewood Group, CCSkills and many more.

The festivals run from 12 – 5pm on each day and feature a wide range of drop in and bookable sessions. To see more information and to book sessions please visit: www.surreycc.gov.uk/youthartsfestival.

The project aims to advocate cultural engagement for wellbeing and creative skills development; de-mystify’ the creative industries and creative careers; signpost young people to local cultural engagement initiatives and consult young people on what they would like to see more of in their area.

An extensive outreach programme is planned for both locations in the run up to the festivals throughout June, including assemblies in local secondary schools, activities in the local libraries and workshops to create an art installation at each festival and youth co-design sessions, to shape the creative industry panellists and questions.

Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety said: “The Surrey Youth Arts and Culture festivals provide a much-needed opportunity for young people to explore the diverse world of arts and culture in their local area. Through these festivals, we aim to inspire, empower, and support the young people of Surrey, ensuring that their voices are heard, and their artistic talents are celebrated. Together with our borough council colleagues and local organisations we are really trying to champion young people to come together in a space designed just for them, where they can develop their creative skills together. If your child or anyone you know is aged 11 to 16 I would encourage you to get them involved and sign them up for these exciting free and local events in Staines-upon-Thames and Redhill.” 

Cllr Susan Doran, Chair of the Community Wellbeing and Housing Committee at Spelthorne Borough Council, said: During my Mayoral year in 2022/23, I witnessed young Spelthorne residents display amazing creativity and I believe this festival is something that can inspire them further. The council are delighted to host such a variety of activities at the Elmsleigh Centre in Staines-upon-Thames and believe it is a fantastic opportunity for our residents. There is a real range of free workshops and performances to enjoy, ranging from dance and theatre to craft and animation. My thanks to all the partners and industry experts involved for bringing this wonderful initiative forward which I know will be a great success”.

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