THE Crediton Heart Project and Crediton Town Team have agreed to merge to create a single charity working to make our town a more vibrant place to live.

"It makes sense to combine the two organisations as they have similar aims and even share some members," explained Heart Project Chair, Rosemary Stephenson.  

The Town Team was set up by the steering group of the 2013 Crediton Festival.

The Team went on to run three further festivals, in 2015, 2017 and 2019, but has also led other successful community projects, such as the annual Crediton Flag Project. 

For many years the Town Team was chaired by Rod Brookes-Hocking, who sadly died last year.

"Rod inspired and drove our most successful work including the creation of the Boniface Heritage Trail and the hugely popular Share in the Square, when 12 picnic tables were installed in the Town Square and live entertainment laid on to help people to socialise safely outdoors during the pandemic.

"The Heart Project was actually created by the Town Team in 2018 with a single goal of developing a new community hub," explained Rosemary.

She added: "We produced a feasibility study, which concluded Crediton needed more space for performances and other community activities. But due to the pandemic and various other setbacks, we have not been able to progress further with this project.

"Instead we have widened our remit to take on other activities, promoting everything going on in our town and villages.  We have also run a series of creative workshops for families, refugees and older people."

In 2020 the Heart Project became a charity.

"This means we are in a much stronger position to raise funds than the Town Team, which doesn’t have charitable status,” she added.

As part of the merger agreement, the Heart Project will take over responsibility for running the Flag Project and build on the Town Team’s collaborative work with other groups to make inspiring and fun events happen in the town.

“We certainly haven’t abandoned our long-term goal of developing a new community hub," said Rosemary, "but we’re excited to be getting involved in all sorts of other projects.

"For example we’ve teamed up with the Arts Centre to bring the popular folk duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman to the Parish Church on April 19.  Tickets are available online via: .

"We are also working with the Town Council to deliver the Big Boniface Bash, a fun family event in Newcombes Meadow on June 9.

"By pooling the resources of the two organisations we can create a more resilient and effective charity, working to keep the heart in Crediton."