A POET is calling on residents to have their say, following the recent news about arts funding being scrapped in the Royal Borough.

Simon Mole, a creative from Maidenhead, posted on Twitter a song he put together with artist Gecko, to raise awareness of the issue which will affect Norden Farm arts centre.

The Public Campaign for the Arts, which protects UK culture from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, have set up a petition demanding the council to reinstate its funding into the borough’s art centres.

Mole said: “If Norden Farm was to close it would be genuinely devastating, it would have such a massive impact in the local area, and we still have a chance to make that bit of a difference by having our say.”

“We wanted to create something that was short and to get people’s attention in a slightly different way.”

Mole added Norden Farm is a really important place for his family.

He said: “It a venue where the community really comes together to connect.

“As a family who live locally, it’s good to not have to travel far away and we enjoy the stuff they put on for the community such as half term activities, Christmas shows and more.”

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Mole explained Norden Farm do a great job at supporting local artists.

“When I first moved to the area, they were vital in terms of connecting me to local schools.

“During lockdown, the venue ran some fantastic online things where people could come along for free and it was great as people weren’t getting out that much.”

Royal Borough Observer: Picture: Norden FarmPicture: Norden Farm

When Jane Corry, chief executive of Norden Farm, watched Mole's video she said:

"We have been so moved by all the love people are showing for Norden Farm and the stories they’ve been sharing.

"Having wonderful artists like Simon Mole and Gecko support us too is very special."

Previously, council leader Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Waltham) said an independent external consultant is reviewing Norden Farm to see what measures it can take to be fully ‘self-financing’ after it was ‘made clear’ to the centres the council would cease its funding.

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Mole expressed his thoughts on why he thinks Norden Farm plays a significant role in the Royal Borough.

He said: “I think the venue is all about bringing people together, it provides a focal point for all those enriching and exciting activities to take place.

“It’s a place where people connect, just that spark you get when you watch something is great and Norden Farm helps make more moments where that can happen.”

Commenting on the importance of arts and culture in general, Mole also stated young people getting involved is “really crucial” for their creativity.

He added: “It’s short-sighted to try and save money by cutting a sector that’s so profitable.”