HAILSHAM celebrates its talent, creativity and imagination when it stages its annual arts and culture festival in September.

The 10-day Hailsham Festival of Arts & Culture, which begins on Thursday September 24, has evolved from its origins as an art trail to a showcase for local artistic talent and skill in a series of exhibition spaces in the town and its surrounding villages.

This year, the highly acclaimed art trail includes more than 80 artists in 18 venues.

Music, dance, drama and cinema are represented with performances in venues ranging from Hailsham Pavilion, a ‘picture palace’ built in 1921 and now a venue for cinema, love music and theatre, the Summerheath Hall, Lime Cross Garden Centre, Chapter 12 Bar & Kitchen and the Bluebell Barn in Arlington, where the annual barn dance will be held on September 16.

There will be a free concert at Hailsham Parish Church with an introduction by Hailsham mayor Councillor Nigel Coltman and performances by  musicians from the church as well as a performance by Hailsham Choral Society.

Young talent will be represented with performances by students from Hailsham Community College, the East Sussex Music Service’s Eastbourne Area Concert Band and Irish dancing during the Showstopper final concert. And other events include jazz, folk, theatre, film, poetry and literature as well as competitions and activities for children.

Festival chair Tony Biggin says, “I only became involved in the festival recently but from the moment I started taking part I was bowled over by the variety, quality and richness which the festival has to offer.

“The arts represent a vital component of our culture, enriching our community and creating a vibrant landscape from which we all benefit.”

Hailsham Festival of Arts & Culture takes place from Thursday-Sunday September 14-24. For the full programme of events and details of the free festival brochure, visit hailshamfestival.uk.

Art works at the festival