Community Benefits

Experiencing Society Through Arts & Culture

Venues like Gaumont Palace provide opportunities for people who are active in social and civic life to experience arts and culture – and they allow those interested in arts and cultural experiences to encounter the diverse institutions that make up the fabric of society. By working with and involving local practitioners and people we also create a supportive business model for Taunton’s community and arts and culture scene.

We believe that most people will understand that returning the Gaumont Palace as a multi-purpose entertainment and cultural venue will have economic benefits for the town centre and the visitor economy. But how does this fit in with community needs?

The community can be divided into two areas. The arts and cultural development aspect e.g., local amateur or professional makers and performers that we wish to develop and nurture, and secondly the local people who wish to experience quality cultural experiences.

The programming of events and activities can easily deliver for those that wish to have quality cultural experiences, such as a top comedy personalities performing, or well-known bands, and orchestras, and even specialised events such as Simply Come Dancing or BBC 6 Craig Charles Funk Dance events.

However, there is much scope to support local artists, bands and groups. That’s why its our mission to have local bands support big names that tour here. We also want to support local indoor markets for food, drink, and the arts, and provide youth opportunities to get involved and gain experience in the entertainment industry.

Our community mission also includes supporting young people and providing social mobility (providing access to quality culture that they would not normally have access to). This is achieved through working with local groups and designating some free access for those that are hard to reach, and having a heavily reduced ticket price so they can access events.

This is why we have gained the support and work with local practitioners and organisations to help develop these strategies and will work with them in the future to develop a local arts and culture delivery programme.

We also believe that the Gaumont has a civic duty to the community, and this includes supporting the local arts and culture eco system. Part of this includes supporting other smaller arts and culture activities in other smaller venues so local people have the opportunity to access all forms of arts and culture.

That’s why we are in talks to create a ‘cultural connection’ between smaller venues in Taunton and plan to have a unified promotion of events as a collective to encourage more participation. Working with the Brewhouse Theatre, CICCIC and Tacchi Morris will allow us to offer our customers access to workshops and other cultural events that would be too small for the Gaumont. Moreover, some of these smaller venues provide essential performance experience for newcomers to the industry and when nurtured through these venues they can progress to larger ones such as the Gaumont.

Health and

Attending cultural events has a health and wellbeing impact on the community too. Those who had attended a cultural place or event over a 12-month period were almost 60 per cent more likely to report good health compared to those who had not, and theatre-goers were almost 25 per cent more likely to report good health. People value being in the audience too and spend is around £2,000 per person per year and participating at £1,500 per person.

Jobs &

We know that the Gaumont will create around 20-30 jobs but also volunteering opportunities for those in the community. From front of house to stewarding, from event production to office duties, volunteering breaks down social barriers and provides social connections and also reports good health and wellbeing for those who get involved. Our experience also shows that many young volunteers go on to pursue a career with the creative industries and this adds so much value in supporting young people.

Community Benefits Overview

Arts Practitioners

What we will offer

  • Local bands to support tours
  • Artist exhibit opportunities
  • Arts installation shows
  • Event creation opportunities
  • Join local 'cultural connection' group

Local Audiences

Opportunities to engage

  • New and diverse events to attend
  • Opportunities to meet others
  • Special pricing for low incomes
  • Opportunity to support local economy
  • Family based activities