Local arts charity Wyldwood Arts has been awarded £180,000 by the National Lottery for a three-year project designed to explore new, creative approaches to connecting people and communities across the Forest.

The funding was awarded through the Reaching Communities England programme to enable Wyldwood Arts to support communities and groups in the Forest to plan and deliver creative events and activities.

Over the next three years, Wyldwood Arts will work closely with various partners including the Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF), to establish links and encourage collaboration between arts and community organisations within the Forest and beyond.

Co-founder and Strategy/Development Producer of Wyldwood Arts, George Densley, said: “This significant investment by The National Lottery Community Foundation is testament to a growing appreciation for the profound power of creativity in bringing people together.

“Here at Wyldwood Arts, we have long worked at the intersection between the arts world and the voluntary and community sector, and we have seen first-hand how people of all ages can benefit from the opportunity to express themselves creatively.

“This is more pertinent than ever in a post-Covid landscape of increased isolation and reduced social connection, so we are excited to now be able to explore the potential of putting creative power directly into the hands of the communities that will benefit the most.”

Chris Brown, the chief executive of FVAF added: “FVAF are delighted to be a partner in what is such an exciting project.

“We look forward to working with Wyldwood Arts and other dynamic and passionate groups and organisations to explore new, creative approaches to community development in the Forest of Dean. ”