Hampshire Cultural Trust

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This map pinpoints some of the most exciting cultural venues in Hampshire.

We will showcase, connect and empower its creative economy


Basingstoke Town Centre businesses say ‘yes’ to Basingstoke Together Business Improvement District

BASINGSTOKE, 13 November 2015

Basingstoke Town Centre is set to benefit from nearly £2 million of private sector investment over the next 5 years after local businesses have voted in favour of creating Basingstoke Together, a Business Improvement District (BID) for the area. The team of local businesses behind the BID campaign are delighted the proposal was given the green light today with 173 businesses taking part in the ballot and 116 of these voting in favour of the BID.

Laurence Martin, Chair of the Basingstoke Together BID steering group said, “We’ve got lots of ideas to really improve the Town Centre for shoppers and other users and shout about what a great place it is. As a town centre business and Basingstoke resident, I’m really excited that we now have an organisation and funding in place to make these happen.”

Work on the BID proposal and campaign so far has been made possible thanks to the efforts of a wide variety of local businesses from the area that stretches from the railway station to the Top of Town.  Support from BID specialists, The Means, who have set up BIDs across the UK was integral to the campaign’s success.

In a drive to make Basingstoke better for business, Basingstoke Together aims to:

  1. Promote Basingstoke Town Centre to regular customers and new visitors
  2. Support and connect local businesses
  3. Improve the visitor experience

The council’s Deputy Leader, with responsibility for the town centre, Cllr Terri Reid said “It is fantastic news that local businesses have voted in support of a Business Improvement District for the area.

“It’s vital for town centres to gain a competitive edge and bringing all the businesses in the area together to help improve what is offered to the people that live and work in Basingstoke can really help to achieve this. The council is committed to working with local businesses to ensure that Basingstoke Town Centre is a thriving retail and leisure destination and we look forward to working with the Basingstoke Together BID on this.”

37.74 % of businesses within the proposed BID area voted in the Basingstoke Together BID ballot. 67% % of those voted in favour of the BID with the ‘yes’ votes representing 66 % of the total rateable value of all the properties that voted. In line with BID ballot regulations, Basingstoke Together needed to secure at least 51% of ‘yes’ votes on both counts to win the ballot.

The full BID term will last for five years from April 2016 to April 2021. Nearly 500 businesses with a rateable value of more than £10,000 will contribute a levy up to a maximum of 1.4% of their rateable value every year to the BID. This will generate nearly £2 million of private sector funds that will be reinvested back into Basingstoke Town Centre.

Alan Stone, Chair of the Top of the Town Association and member of the Steering Group said, “We would like to thank all the businesses for their support throughout the campaign, for having confidence in Basingstoke Together and for voting ‘yes’. We could not have achieved this without their backing.”

The Basingstoke Together BID proposal, which sets out the BID’s 12 pledges can be viewed online at www.Basingstoketogether.co.uk

Hampshire Cultural Trust to host literary festival

Image: Romance author Lucy Dillon will speak at the Hampshire Cultural Trust New Forest Readers' Day

Keen readers and fans of fiction will have the chance to put their questions directly to their favourite authors when Hampshire Cultural Trust hosts a literary festival this weekend (14 November) at the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton.

There's something for every keen reader at the New Forest Readers' Day with three top writers of romance, crime and historical fiction giving talks to small groups and taking part in panels.

Writers attending the New Forest Readers' Day are:

  • Lucy Dillon, who has won the prestigious Romantic Novel Association twice, most recently for A Hundred Pieces of Me', a heart-wrenching yet truly life affirming tale. Lucy's latest novel, her sixth, is 'One Small Act of Kindness', a vibrant story of friendship, secrets and the kindness of strangers.
  • Kate Rhodes, the acclaimed author of two poetry collections and London based crime series featuring psychologist Alice Quentin. This year sees's Alice's fourth case come to light in 'River of Souls', where getting inside the mind of a killer isn't for the faint of heart.
  • S D Sykes, writer for radio, screenplays and novelist. Her first novel, 'Plague Land', a medieval mystery filled with danger and intrigue, was released last year. Her latest novel 'The Butcher Bird' is a compelling and vivid read that takes the reader from the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the filthy streets of London.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "The New Forest Readers' Day will be an engaging and thrilling event for any fanatical reader or budding writer. We're proud to host world-renowned authors at our literary festival in a day and bring world-class culture to Hampshire."

The New Forest Readers' Day will take place between 10:15am - 3:30pm. Tickets cost just £26 and include a panel and two group discussions of your choice. Lunch is also included in the price of the ticket.

To book tickets and to find out more information please visit www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Tickets are also available from the box office on 01425 612393

Hampshire Cultural Trust launches its 10-year Vision and Strategic plan


Image: One of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s venues, City Museum Winchester


Hampshire Cultural Trust formally launched its 10-year vision and strategic plan at its birthday celebration (October 30).


The event, was held at the Sainsbury Gallery at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke, and marked a year’s anniversary since the trust’s launch in 2014. The trust was created as an independent charity to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s culture and creative economy.

Hosted by the trust’s chairman, Alan Lovell, and chief executive, Janet Owen, the event offered the trust’s founding ambassadors a unique opportunity to hear about the achievements and future ambitions of the trust and how the public can play their part in its future.


It has had a hugely successful first year. Some of its key achievements include:

  Reaching over one million people through Hampshire’s ‘big theme’, DINOFEST2015

• Hosting world-class touring exhibitions in its Flagship Galleries, including Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Made in China

• Recruiting 36 Founding Ambassadors and its first Corporate Partner, Be Wiser 


By 2025 it aims, with the support of its partners, to have transformed its diverse portfolio into an even stronger and sustainable offer that brings world-class culture to local people and draws in visitors from across the globe.

The celebration, also featured an exclusive presentation from Andrew Forsyth, one of last year’s finalists of the nationally renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He gave guests a fascinating insight into his work before they had the opportunity to look around this year’s world-class exhibition in the museum’s Sainsbury Gallery. Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “The evening gave us the opportunity to showcase the vital work Hampshire Cultural Trust has undertaken and introduce the framework we have set out to help us achieve our ambitions over the next decade.

“It is a way to say thank you to our current founding ambassadors and invite new supporters and corporate partners to assist the trust in realising its ambition to make Hampshire a world-class place for arts, culture and heritage.”

Alan Lovell, chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust, added: “Hampshire Cultural Trust promotes world-class culture on people’s doorsteps. We truly believe that we can change the lives of every single person we engage with, sometimes for a day and sometimes for a lifetime.


“Our vision and plan is bold and exciting and it is my belief that, in a county as enterprising and strong as Hampshire, we are on route to success.”


Light Room exhibition to immerse the Sainsbury Gallery in colour

Image: Your Colour Perception by Liz West at Castelfield Gallery's New Art Spaces Federation House in Manchester

The Sainsbury Gallery at the Willis Museum will be immersed in a kaleidoscope of rainbow lights as artist Liz West brings her exhibition, The Light Room - Your Colour Perception, to the Hampshire Cultural Trust venue on November 7.

Liz creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological, physical and emotional responses that tap into deeply entrenched relationships to colour.

This exciting artist, who has exhibited both nationally and internationally, will transform the Sainsbury Gallery into a magical rainbow of light for visiting art lovers to wander through. The experiential exhibition will invite visitors to question their reactions to the intensity of light and colour.

Liz will individually wrap each lamp in coloured filters to create the vast rainbow effect in the gallery.

Liz said: "My interest into the science of light and colour is ongoing and has been integral to all of my works in the last couple of years, even the work I made on my degree was steeped in rich colour mixing and awareness. Colour can conjure long forgotten memories in the same way that other sensory experiences, such as certain smells or sounds, can be reminders of vivid past events.

"I find that reactions differ depending on age. In the past as young people entered the space they immediately took the opportunity to run as fast as they could from one end of the room to the other!"

Janet Owen, chief executive officer at Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We're delighted to be exhibiting Liz West's extraordinary art at the Willis Museum's Sainsbury Gallery. It’s a truly immersive experience that visitors will lose themselves in. Liz's work has been recognised as world-class and we're proud to be bringing her to Basingstoke."

Liz graduated from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art in 2007 and has exhibited around the UK and abroad. Her work has been recognised in international awards and this year she was one of just 10 artists to win a RBS Bursary Award from the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

The Light Room - Your Colour Perception will be at the Sainsbury Gallery until 2 January.


Repatriation Ceremony

Image: (L-R) Councillor Andrew Gibson; Christine Taylor, curator of Natural Sciences at Hampshire Cultural Trust; Emily Hill, niece of Kenneth Dickson; Kenneth Dickson, elder; Meriki Hill, niece of Kenneth Dickson; Nicole, friend of Meriki Hill; Alan Lovell, chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust; Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust

On the 2nd November a special ceremony took place to mark the handover of Australian Indigenous human remains, originally from Delicate Nobby, seven miles south of Crescent Head in the region of Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia, to Mr Kenneth Dickson, representing the Dunghutti Community from Kempsey.

It is believed that the remains were removed from Australia during the 1960s and taken to the United Kingdom. A coroner’s report of 1962, showed that the remains, found by workmen earlier in the year at Delicate Nobby, New South Wales, were up to 2,000 years old. The remains were donated to Hampshire County Council Museums Service by a research biologist and local resident.

Christine Taylor, Curator of Natural Sciences for Hampshire Cultural Trust said:


“Repatriation was an easy curatorial decision to make based on the ethos and terms of our Acquisitions Policy. When we seek to undertake such a transfer, the most appropriate recipient should be sought and in this instance it was the Dunghutti people.”

Christine Taylor spent almost a decade undertaking the process of repatriation which included a formal biometric analysis being carried out on the remains in 2009. This confirmed that they were from an Australian Indigenous male aged between 21 and middle age. Following the publication of two reports confirming the origin of the remains, the Dunghutti people, were informed and formal repatriation proceedings began.

Working in partnership with the Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts, a repatriation ceremony took place in Queen Eleanor’s Garden at the Great Hall, Winchester on Monday the 2nd November at 10am. This was presided over by Mr. Kenneth Dickson who performed a Smoking Ceremony.

Mr. Kenneth Dickson said:

“It has been a very special experience, not just in the journey we make overseas but in the process of spiritually connecting with our ancestors to bring them home.”

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Cllr Andrew Gibson said:

 “The County Council is very pleased to be in a position to return these remains to their rightful home. The return of ancestral remains to their community of origin is important, to help promote healing and reconciliation for Aboriginal people. We are glad to work with Hampshire Cultural Trust to ensure these ancestors are enabled to finally rest in peace in their homelands.”

Councillor Andrew Gibson attended the ceremony along with Wendy Dalitz, Assistant Director, Repatriation (UK) of the Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts, who has played an active role in facilitating the process; Karen Murray, Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services, Hampshire County Council; John Tickle, Assistant Director of Culture and Heritage, Hampshire County Council; Alan Lovell, Chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust and Janet Owen, its Chief Executive.


To find out more about Hampshire Cultural Trust visit www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk and to explore its collections visit http://lovecollecting.org.uk/

First Corporate Founding Partner for Hampshire Cultural Trust

Hampshire Cultural Trust has announced its first ever Founding Corporate Partner, Be Wiser Business Insurance, today (September 18).

The Hampshire company, which is based in Andover, has donated £2,500 and pledged 30 hours of volunteering time to the charitable trust. Students from the Be Wiser Academy will dedicate their time as volunteers in the trust's venues and exhibitions.

The partnership will see the organisations working collaboratively to champion Hampshire as a world-class county.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which launched last year, exists to bring world class culture to Hampshire. With 23 museums and arts venues, it works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact, with customer focus at its core.

Both independent organisations share the same core values of being fresh and exciting, collaborative and customer focused - always staying ahead of the curve and delivering real value with confidence.

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to announce Be Wiser Business Insurance as our first Founding Corporate Partner. We both share the vision of enabling and showcasing the very best and Be Wiser are a perfect partner for us to have on board. We plan to extend our corporate sponsorship further and welcome organisations in the county to get involved.”

Be Wiser chairman Mark Bower-Dyke said: “We recognize the importance that culture, arts and heritage play in our society. We are therefore delighted to play an important role in its sustainability by becoming Hampshire Cultural Trust’s first corporate partner. In addition the volunteers will be able to contribute to its vital work whilst gaining insight and inspiration which are important qualities for the success of our business.”


What Are The Top 5 Funniest Dinosaur Names?

Dinosaurs are everywhere it seems and once again they are hitting the headlines this month after a truly roarsome discovery was made. 200 bones were unearthed in Canada, which are thought to have belonged to a bizarre looking creature with curly horns over 79 million years ago. It was fossil hunter Wendy Sloboda who made the discovery and aptly called our new frilly horned friend, Wendiceratops.

Now palaeontologists can be forgiven for naming the objects of their research after themselves, can’t they? Well, we did a bit of research and found that some of them have gone even further. A lot further in fact. So we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the most entertaining names we could find for your amusement and add to dino-fever. Enjoy!


Named after the famous Walt Disney movie and everybody’s favourite deer Bambi, it’s fitting that the fossil hunter who discovered the Bambiraptor skeleton was just 14 years old. That’s where the similarities end however, because instead of the sweet and innocent animation, this dinosaur was a fearsome raptor with killer claws and a mouthful of sharp teeth. Scary!


Half dinosaur and half machine, this Jurassic creature from the future….. We’ll stop there. Unfortunately, much to our disappointment (and relief) Technosaurus doesn’t live up to its billing and was in fact a rather small creature. Its remains were found in 1984 and it was named after Texas Tech University.


Did this dinosaur spend all its time in the pub? Or devour its prey on another one its binges? Probably not, but it sure is the most unusual dinosaur title we’ve heard of. It was given its name – unsurprisingly – by one of the most famous palaeontologists of all time, Edward Drinker Cope in North America and he must have liked his name so much, he didn’t even bother to make it sound dinosaury.

Dracorex Hogwartsia

Yep, you guessed it Harry Potter fans. After 3 amateur palaeontologists from Iowa discovered the fossils of this creature, they decided to name it after their favourite film. Dracorex derides from Draco Malfoy, Potter’s arch nemesis, and Hogwartsia comes from the famous school of magic that is Hogwarts. We love it!


Was this the most annoying dinosaur out there? Making loud inappropriate noises and leaving passive aggressive post it notes for other dinosaurs to see? It’s more likely that this name stuck because of some poor palaeontologist spending hours of his time in the lab with his brush chipping away tiny fragments of rock. Even so, pretty funny nonetheless.

Have we missed any cool or not so cool sounding dinosaur names? If so, we’d love to hear them. Tweet us your suggestions @DINOFEST2015 

Dinosaurs invade Andover

The latest exhibition from the DINOFEST2015 line up will arrive this week (July 11) at Andover Museum. Running until September 5, DINO ARTIST features the work of John Sibbick, the Isle of Wight based artist who has been drawing and illustrating dinosaurs since he was a boy.

This touring exhibition of 28 pieces of his work includes a specially commissioned piece for DINOFEST2015.

Over 25 years John has illustrated prehistoric reconstructions for magazines, museums, television and books, including the Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dinosaurs. His work has been displayed in London's Natural History Museum, the Museum of Scotland, the Gamagori Museum in Japan and the Sea Dragons Gallery in Bristol.

John's detailed work is created from taking fossil evidence and advice from specialists within the field. 3D models help him to work out lighting and various viewpoints before executing the paintings in gouache paint and finishing drawings in pen, ink or different types of pencils.

DINOFEST2015 sees some of the world’s leading dinosaur exhibits stomp into Hampshire. Visitors can get up close and personal with awesome animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum, which are on display in both Basingstoke and Southampton. From inquisitive young minds to intrepid explorers, there is fun for all the family.

Events at Andover Museum during the DINO ARTIST exhibition:

Storytelling with children's author and illustrator, Paul Stickland (July 29) - Join the author and illustrator of Dinosaur Roar, Ten Terrible Dinosaurs and Swap Stomp. £5 per child, pre-booking required.

Family pop-up book workshop with children's author and illustrator, Paul Stickland (July 29 and September 5) - This dynamic, fun and inspiring workshop is designed to empower and engage children using some of their favourite subjects, roaring dinosaurs and monster pop up books. £10 per child, pre-booking required.

Paint your own wooden dinosaur (August 5) - Drop in and choose your own wooden dinosaur to paint and decorate yourself. £3.50 per dinosaur, no need to pre-book.

Make your own clay fossil (August 12) - Create your own fossil with potter Lucy Burley. £7 per participant, pre-booking required.

Make your own dino hat (August 19) - Pretend to be a dinosaur and make your own dinosaur hat. £3 per hat, no need to pre-book.

Dino badge making (August 26) - Drop in and create your own dinosaur badges to wear. £3 per child, no need to pre-book.



The newest exhibition from the DINOFEST2105 line up is coming to City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre this week (July 11). DINOSAURIUM: Reimagined Creatures is a family friendly exhibition featuring many hands-on activities and fascinating facts about dinosaurs.

The exhibition has a strong collector's theme with visitors invited to explore a reconstructed antiquarians and naturalists study and gaze in wonder at a mystery fictional Edwardian specimen jar containing a 'living' dinosaur.

Local artists have created creatures from paper, card, plastic and textiles and feature the stories of pioneer fossil collectors in their work. The exhibition also explores the theory that each generation re-imagines dinosaurs in its own way. Visitors have until September 6 to discover the history and art for themselves.

DINOFEST2015 sees some of the world’s leading dinosaur exhibits stomp into Hampshire. Visitors can get up close and personal with awesome animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum, which are on display in both Basingstoke and Southampton. From inquisitive young minds to intrepid explorers, there is fun for all the family.

Hampshire Cultural Trust and Winchester Discovery Centre have come together to put on a programme of themed events during the DINOSAURIUM exhibition. These are:

Dinosaur T-Shirts (30 July) - Make your own roarsome printed T-shirt, Age 5+, £10 per person.

T-Rex Hand Puppet Workshop (5 August) - Drop in to the Discovery Centre and make your very own Tyrannosaurus Rex hand puppet. Suitable for age 7+. Free event and all materials provided.

Writers on the Rampage (10 August) - Working with games and prompts, in groups and alone, young writers are encouraged to create fantastic creatures and set them free to rampage in poems and stories. £10 per person.

Dinosaur Dome Show (15 August) - A 360 degree interactive dinosaur show in a planetarium setting. learn about the origin of flight, experience the thrill of gliding over the countryside and travel back in time to meet flying pterosaurs and ancestors of modern day birds. Ticket also includes access to a hands-on fossil workshop. Age 4+, £8 per person.

Tyrannosaurus Drip...and more (17 August) - An interactive storytelling based on the books by Julia Donaldson. Suitable for ages 3+. £1.50 per child, pre-booking required.

A 'Dinosaurs in Your Garden' Workshop (26 August) - Have a go at a range of hands-on activities investigating the biggest, the smallest and the fastest of the animal kingdom. Featuring some of the record-breaking dinosaurs and birds in the 'Dinosaurs in your Garden' exhibition in The Gallery and specimens from the Hampshire Cultural Trust natural science collection. Suitable for ages 4-11, £3 per child.

Feathers & Flying Dinosaurs (4 September) - This adult lecture will look at the origins of flight, pterosaurs and the evolution of feathers. 


Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, is opening its doors to the public during the twilight hours for one night only (July 16), for an exclusive chance to experience 'Night at the Museum' for real.

The museum will be open from 17:00-21:00 for an atmospheric late night viewing of DINO HUNTER, where visitors can get up close to four life-size animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum and follow in the footsteps of Victorian dinosaur hunters. Discover what happens in the museum after hours and explore the exhibits as the dinosaurs' roars echo through the Thornycroft building.

The late night opening is ideal for those who are unable to visit the museum during the day or want to avoid the bustle of the weekends. Tickets will cost half the normal entry price.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We're delighted to open up Milestones Museum for a special evening of Dinosaur hunting so that even more people can experience the world-class history and culture we bring to people's doorsteps. It's set to be a truly impressive experience. Remember, wherever you are in Hampshire, the dinosaurs are closer than you might think...."

DINO HUNTER invaded Basingstoke on June 13 and parks up until September 27 as part of Hampshire Cultural Trust's wider DINOFEST2015, a series of roarsome dinosaur themed exhibitions and events across the county this year.

This late night opening is a taster of what the ultimate DINO TRACKER could win in a competition run by Hampshire Cultural Trust. If visitors collect stickers from both DINO HUNTER (Milestones) and DINO ENCOUNTER (SeaCity Museum, Southampton) they can enter into a draw to win a ticket to Dino Snores, a sleepover at the Natural History Museum. To take part, download the Dino Tracker map from www.dinofest2015.co.uk.

To find out more, pre-book tickets and download a map visit www.dinofest2015.co.uk or call Milestones Museum on 01256 477766.

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