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Much more than art for art's sake

The 21st Chew Valley Arts Trail was another great success. Exhibitors made sales across the weekend but they did much more than that, by promoting and marketing themselves so that people can come back to them in the months to come thanks to their continued presence in our brochure and website.


All that is well and good, but what I would like to reflect on is the economic impact that hundreds of visitors have on the Chew Valley as a whole. Thanks to widespread advertising, people are attracted to the event from much further afield than our own villages. It puts the whole Valley in the shop window so people often make a day out of it, stopping off for tea, coffee and a cake or enjoying lunch – perhaps both !


Ask anyone in the hard-pressed hospitality industry and they will tell you that attracting new customers is a great boost to them, because once visitors have found places they like, they will return time and again.


We know personally what hard work it is to organise the Arts Trail, so we very much appreciate the tremendous efforts put in by so many other people who put on events that attract visitors, and so potential customers to the area. I am thinking of things like Valley Arts, Valley Fest and our well attended village shows. Most of these sponsored in some way by local businesses.


They all provide a great service to entertain local residents, but they have another crucial part to play in bringing in people from surrounding areas. That’s one of the reasons that businesses are willing to get involved in sponsorship. Of course they want to be supportive of community events, but they also want to promote the Chew Valley as a vibrant and creative area which offers a great lifestyle, attracting people to come to live and work here.


So when you see community events in your area, please do your best to support them by attending and maybe even becoming a volunteer. They are not only the lifeblood of our Valley but they make a significant contribution to the local economy which benefits everyone.


If you would like to know more about Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce please visit


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