COAST Arts started in 2008 with an agreement between Cromer and Sheringham Town Councils to support two community-led festivals outside the traditional summer season. Extensive consultation followed in 2009. From this two independent, voluntary management committees were formed to develop and deliver a fishing festival in spring and an arts festival in autumn. The pilot Crab & Lobster Festival and Cromer & Sheringham Arts & Literary Festival (CASALF) took place in May and October 2010 respectively. Both have continued annually ever since.

The CASALF committee chose the coast as a theme for its first festival. The original mission was to “promote and provide access to participation in the arts by showcasing the variety and quality of work produced in the local area”. This was achieved through a range of initiatives, culminating in COAST, a multidisciplinary arts festival in half term week at the end of October.

There has been significant evolution over the years:

·         In 2013 we became a charity with public benefit and education objects.

·         In 2016 we moved towards a role as supporter and co-promoter of arts opportunities all year round and across North Norfolk rather than simply promoting our own week-long festival in Cromer and Sheringham.  We adopted COAST Arts – more than a festival as our philosophy and we began to forge new partnerships with other local groups e.g. the Friends of North Lodge Park, Rock the Lobster and The Belfry Centre for Music & Arts.

·         In 2017 we established the Atrium Cinema Group (ACG) following the closure of local charity Arts North Norfolk. This team of dedicated volunteers has continued, under our umbrella, to deliver an engaging and popular film programme in North Walsham ever since.

·         In 2019 we staged our tenth annual COAST Arts festival.

One thing has remained constant – our commitment to providing public benefit and arts education by promoting quality opportunities for people of all ages to experience the best of creativity on their doorstep.