Kim Coley from the Peterborough Presents team reflects on the arts organisation's achievements over the past decade and how they will be celebrating its 10th birthday.

Mention the arts and people naturally think of galleries and theatres.

For the last 10 years, arts organisation Peterborough Presents has been working with people from across the city to show that it is this and so much more.

It can mean circuses, folk tales, street murals, poetry on the walls at the Lido, zombie walks at Diwali, being serenaded by violins whilst in a hot tub at Thorpe Meadows, going on magical history tours and creating lantern parades.

It can mean carnivals at Millfield Festival, weekly craft groups or even doing up your local street with colourful planters.

In 2024, Peterborough Presents is celebrating 10 years of working with communities across the city to create great ‘art’.

With funding from Arts Council England, Peterborough Presents has been working with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Sarah Haythornthwaite, programme director, said: “There’s a lot of creativity in Peterborough and also energy to try something different.

“10 years is a proper milestone too. Over those years we have had the pleasure, and honour, of working with specific neighbourhoods in the city to create projects alongside local residents.

“We don’t tell people what ‘arts’ they need. We start by getting to know people, find out what inspires them, what's missing and then we create something together.

“It makes every project and every neighbourhood unique. We have seen people make new friends, learn new skills, even seen communities come together for the first time.

“They have looked at their neighbourhood in a different way and found creative ways to shout about something important to them.

“We’ve worked with some amazing established artists but have also helped to support some fabulous new ones too. Above all, we’ve had fun!”

For their birthday, the Peterborough Presents team want to celebrate all the ways in which you can be creative and encourage you to get creative too.

Their 10th birthday is as ambitious as ever. It kicks-off at Peterborough Celebrates Festival on May 18 and 19 at Ferry Meadows.

Peterborough Presents will be taking over the ‘creative dome’ where you can watch amazing carnival performances by Mandinga Arts or get involved in drawing and making sessions. Of course, there will be some party games too!

Artist Rose Croft is currently working with groups from across the city to create colourful garlands and artworks from recycled materials that will decorate the Creative Dome.

The birthday celebrations will continue throughout the year with community-led creative programmes in Millfield, Westwood, Eye, and beyond.

Highlights include the Millfield Makers event in August, Eye Lantern Parade in November and film projects with young people in Westwood. Guests can expect some short films, podcasts and digital artwork released online too.

Sarah added: “The Peterborough Presents programme has provided thousands of people the opportunity to be part of creative activities over the last 10 years.

“We enjoy working closely with communities to co-produce our programme so that residents can experience art on their doorstep – projects that are relevant and fun.

“A party isn’t a party unless others join us on the dance floor. So, we’re inviting you all to come and join us at Peterborough Celebrates and have a go at being a bit creative.”

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To find out more about Peterborough Celebrates visit

Peterborough Matters: Arts organisation Peterborough Presents will be taking over the ‘creative dome’ at Peterborough