New venue provides Colwyn Bay with plenty of culture

Reporter:

Annie Roberts

A TALENTED mum and son are creating an ‘arts triangle’ of independent venues in Colwyn Bay.

Ali Carter has been one of town’s creative forces for almost two decades, having founded Diverse Arts in 2001 before opening the Laundry Studios and Action for Arts to support young and disadvantaged people.

Her latest venture is Number 44, a juice and coffee house hosting music nights, comedy shows and appearances by talented artists and DJs.

Next door on Sea View Road, son Dani – drummer with rising rock band, Neck Deep – has opened Rain, a boutique clothes store.

Both mum and son are keen to reignite the coastal resort as a hotbed of creativity.

Ali said: “Number 44 and Rain were basically the outcome of a conversation Dani and I had about doing something vibrant for the town, as most of the other stuff we do isn’t really Colwyn Bay-centric with us both working in other parts of the UK and internationally.

“We wanted to experiment with the concept of quality independent trading in a relatively overlooked part of town, despite it being a conservation area.

“Colwyn Bay has been asleep for a long time. Something needed to be done to assist the cultural regeneration.

“There is a lot of untapped potential, and since opening Number 44 and talking to both customers and other businesses locally who believe there is a genuine desire for change, for prosperity and raising the quality of the retail and cultural offer in the town.”

Ali says a lack of ‘cultural opportunities’ in the area has seen a generation of school leavers exit for pastures new.

“There are very few spaces for young people to be individual and express themselves - which is one of the reasons there is a chronic problem with anti-social behaviour in Colwyn Bay,” she said.

“The long-term vision is to become established as an eclectic creative platform for delivering a broad spectrum of cultural events for people who are interested in an alternative to the traditional pubs and clubs found in town centres.”

Coming events at Number 44 include:

July 12 – 19: Andy Fairhurst Art: Film and Fantasy Exhibition

July 21 – 23: Swifty Grafix/Straight No Chaser Weekend An Exhibition + An Evening With Swifty + A Late Night Club with Straight No Chaser Magazine Creator and Worldwide FM DJ Paul Bradshaw

July 27: The Rise of Grime and Emcee Culture with DJ Fallacy/Thirty Pound Gentleman

For further event information, go online at www.number44.wales

Email:

annie.roberts@nwn.co.uk

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