Helping rural business to
start, develop and grow.


Case Study – Hecate Arts CIC

Hecate Arts are a new Community Interest Company set up in response to expressed needs across Matlock arising from the lack of cohesive community opportunities and a sense of isolation within the town.

Their business journey so far

Sarah Bradnock, Emma Hill and Cath Rawas are a dynamic trio with a wealth of experience. They love making all sorts of things happen in new, accessible and creative ways and are positive problem solvers, creators and energisers bursting with ideas for their home town. Individually they have been involved with community activities and development in Matlock for over 15 years which has given them a solid understanding of the town’s perception that it lacks a sense of heart.  With no dedicated central community space, arts space or cinema, Matlock has little intergenerational and community activity and provides few opportunities for residents to engage with each other.

They decided to change all that and make a difference to the community they love!

Events so far have included Pirate Day on 23 September 2017 with 2018’s Pirate Day planned for 22 September.

They also ran the very successful “No Two the Same” snowflake exhibition in Matlock Market Hall, December 2017; The Poppy Path at Cromford Mills – a community commemoration that is an ongoing project; Tiddleyompompom in June 2018 at Hall Leys Park and yes there was a beach in Matlock!

As well as many other activities, not least the development and organisation of the Wednesday Matlock Market championing local, fresh produce.

Goals and aspirations

Accessibility is a principle core value, they take every opportunity they can to consider and address the range of accessibility needs from the physical and emotional to practical reasons why people aren’t able to participate. All 3 agree that they are committed to creating an environment in which every contribution is welcomed and valued. They truly believe that in bringing together their collective experience, understanding and local knowledge they can create a sustainable foundation for community evolution and recognise that the value of the arts and public engagement can lead to great change through creative approaches, which helps support people to germinate and grow their own ideas.


All 3 ‘energisers’ have met with Julie White from Growing Rural Enterprise several times and taken part in specific workshops, as part of the SCR Launchpad Project, part funded by Derbyshire Dales District Council. When asked how they felt about the support given under the Launchpad Project, Cath said:’:

“It’s been absolutely critical to us, from having support with early projects bids and applications to suggestions for directions to take, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are now without that support.”

What advice would they give to others?

Be flexible – this was really important  because it meant they were able to consider opportunities that hadn’t been thought of initially, but also keep a focus on what it is you actually want to achieve with your business.  Having someone to bounce ideas off is incredibly helpful so if you’re on your own, make sure you get into a network or find yourself a mentor to work with.

What does the future hold?

The continued development of Matlock Market is incredibly important, and runs alongside some more exciting community days in Matlock.  There is also a consultation project on Hurst Farm in Matlock for the DDDC/Waterloo Housing Hurst Farm Regeneration Project.  Pirate Day is sailing into view pretty fast for September 22nd in Hall Leys Park with some added evening entertainment and hopefully the next 12 months will see the development of a dedicated community arts space in Matlock Town Centre.