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Frances Warren, Arts in the Marches – Creating the landscape of the future

Frances Warren runs Arts in the Marches and provides a range of services and activities for people interested in the arts, from creative workshops on willow sculpture and stone carving
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Creating the landscape of the future

‘I became a local champion for the Fastershire project as I am passionate about ensuring that rural communities and businesses benefit from the same broadband service that can be found in towns and cities across the UK. It is crucial to running a successful business to be able to operate effectively and efficiently no matter where you are based.’

Arts in the Marches is an arts company based in the idyllic rural setting of Llangarron near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. Run by Frances Warren, Arts in the Marches provides a range of services and activities for people interested in the arts, from creative workshops on willow sculpture and stone carving, to macro photography and botanical art, to exhibitions and the development of the Arts in the Marches sculpture garden. Alongside this Frances also provides tailored packages of support and representation for artists that can include promoting their work to galleries around the UK, developing sales, applying for grants, and support with setting up websites and maximising their use of social media.

As part of her role as a champion of the Fastershire project, Frances was invited to a conference held at Hampton Court Castle and it was here that she learnt more about the Faster Women initiative. After attending one of the workshops on social media Frances realised the benefits of providing local business women with the skills and confidence to successfully utilise their high speed internet connection.

The art of good advice

While finding the workshops informative, and a great opportunity to network with other women in the same situation as herself, Frances then went on to benefit from a free one-to-one session at her home with a Fastershire business support advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, who honed in on the IT support which would benefit Arts in the Marches the most. Covering a wide range of topics such as the use of Facebook and Twitter, filing systems and general technical advice, Frances found the session invaluable and is now working with the Faster Women project to set up a day of one-to-one sessions for local business women in her village, so that they can also benefit from tailored advice.

Frances said, ‘I found Jack’s one-to-one session extremely useful. He was helpful, patient and provided expert advice on using the technical tools which will enable me to continue to use, and further develop, the online presence of Arts in the Marches. I thoroughly recommend the sessions and want to ensure that my fellow business women also have the opportunity to benefit from them, so I have been helping to organise a day of free one-to-one sessions in Llangarron at the end of March. I’m happy to say we already have 25 people booked to attend, and a waiting list for future events!

‘When it is finally rolled out in our village the high speed internet connection will mean that carrying out even simple technical tasks, such as attaching images to emails and updating my website will no longer be painfully slow and time consuming. It will mean that day-to-day tasks online will be as simple as they should be and not detrimental to the rest of my work time. It is so important that once we have the connection that we are able to use it to its maximum benefit and I’m sure that the one-to-one sessions will help ensure this.’

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