Introduction and Background to Glenkens Community and Arts Trust

To see our full strategic plan for 2019 – 2024 please download the document here.

Glenkens Community and Arts Trust (GCAT) was set up in 2001 to advance wellbeing and sustainability through arts, culture and community engagement through fostering connections and encouraging innovation and creative opportunity for all. We are high quality, nimble and effective organisation, with an enthusastic and successful board and staff team. Our strategy is based on the implementation of sound financial, HR, legal and ethical governance within a robust policy framework. At our core is a passion and commitment for achieving positive outcomes for our people and communities.

Since its inception, GCAT has brought an innovative and diverse programme of theatre, music, dance, visual art, film and creative learning activities to audiences and participants from the Glenkens and beyond. GCAT is extremely responsive to local needs and hosts a number of community wellbeing activities and projects. CatStrand, the HQ of GCAT, is the physical cultural hub of Glenkens and the surrounding area. It is a vibrant centre for the presentation of high quality, accessible arts and creative learning opportunities.

We have achieved much in a relatively short period of time:

  • Established  a contemporary, multi-purpose cultural and creative hub in CatStrand.
  • Generated a programme of diverse and entertaining  music, dance, film, theatre, heritage and cultural events  as well as exhibitions supporting local artists and makers.
  • Provided engagement and learning opportunities for all ages via a programme of classes and workshops through the Youth Arts, Bright Stars Community Nursery and Connecting in Communities projects.
  • Promoted enterprise and increased income generation from venue hire, an onsite shop  and café promoting locally produced arts & crafts and produce.
  • Developed an enhanced digital infrastructure, through a  modern website, an on-line booking facility and free wi-fi access.
  • Operated an effective community transport operation.


  • Published a valuable bi-monthly  community resource newspaper, the Glenkens Gazette.

GCAT’s achievements have been recognised with many national and regional awards. Our most significant recognition, however, has been the enthusiastic support and engagement of the community. Our Board of Directors, our small team of staff and our committed team of local volunteers work hard together to sustain these outcomes for our community.

Core Activity Areas

We undertook a planning process in 2018 to identify define our key areas of activity.

 The Organisation’s main activity areas are:

  1. Arts, Culture and Heritage (development and performances)
  2. Community Development and Engagement (cross age)
  3. Enterprise and Facilities (shop, café, venue hire, tourism info etc.)
  4. Transport (community transport operation)
  5. Bright Stars (Early Years and Nursery Provision)
  6. Business Support (admin, finance, asset management, HR, business support, governance etc.)

In addition, there are a number of principles we want to embed in everything we do.  

  • A commitment to working collaboratively
  • Contributing towards the social and economic sustainability of the Glenkens
  • Ensuring a focus on all ‘ages and stages’ and a wide range of interests
  • Incorporating heritage related activities