11:00AM, Friday 24 September 2021
A series of musical events are taking place in Twyford to encourage people into the village centre to enjoy some live music and support local shops and businesses.
The events are the brainchild of Cllr Stephen Conway (Lib Dem, Twyford) who is involved in Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) Joint Recovery Group, which was set up to promote ‘local and economic recovering during and after COVID’.
The first event took place on Saturday, September 4 and featured the band BoxSet, which includes Tony Lyons of Twyford, who is also in charge of organising the programme of events.
Musicians from the village perform fortnightly from 11am to 1.30pm at Wellington Square, with the last concert set to take place on Saturday, October 16.
The events are being funded by money allocated through the Welcome Back Fund – which was specifically designed to help recovery and ‘prop-up’ local businesses.
Cllr Conway said: “I suggested that we could have some musical events in Twyford, a small number of them during the late summer and autumn just to try and encourage people to come down to the village centre, listen to the music and do some shopping and use the local businesses.
He added: “It’s meant to do two things – it helps local musicians who have had a very hard time during COVID, and not being able to perform.
“It lifts people’s spirits because it brings live music into the village centre and it has some benefit to the shops and local businesses in terms of increased footfall.
“We do need to try and stimulate business for local shops and local businesses that have had a hard time. So I see it as fulfilling all these functions, helping local musicians, lifting local spirits and helping the local economy.”
Discussing other plans to support local businesses in the village following the coronavirus lockdowns, Cllr Conway said that some of the Welcome Back Fund money is also being used to set up a business forum, organised by Twyford Together, to discuss ways local businesses can obtain support from the council and hear their ideas.
He added that the business forum should be taking place this autumn.
Cllr Conway added that he has also had discussions with senior library officers at WBC about the suitability of exhibitions, concerts and displays in the new Twyford Library.
The next musical event is set to take place on Saturday, October 2.
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