I am sure that many of you will have enjoyed the spectacle of the Olympic Games as much as I did and, like me, you will have been celebrating the many medals won by Team GB. My particular congratulations go to Chris Langridge who originates from Leatherhead for winning bronze in the men's badminton doubles. If the Olympics, and the upcoming Paralympics, have inspired you to be more active, then I do hope you will take full advantage of Mole Valley District Council's sport centres, parks and our Inclusive Sport Programme which provide you with plenty of opportunities to do so.While the last few weeks have seen many of us focusing on sport and sporting achievements, September is an opportunity to celebrate the arts with a wonderful range of arts and cultural events taking place across Mole Valley throughout the month. I am excited and immensely proud that we will be opening our Deepdene Trail to the public on 10th September. This project, funded by a £1 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is the culmination of many years of work led by Mole Valley District Council and it has been supported by many volunteers. I should particularly like to thank the Friends of Deepdene for their years of dedication and hours of labour on the site clearing the undergrowth and restoring paths. The project, which brings the forgotten estate of Thomas Hope back to life, will open up a cultural gem of national significance for all our residents to enjoy right here in Dorking. Please come along to the Grand Opening and explore the rediscovered trails, the unearthed 19th century Hope Mausoleum, the restored grotto and reinstated Italianate garden.
For many years Mole Valley has supported the national Heritage Open Day event and this year, once again, residents will be able to access buildings and gardens of historical and cultural interest across the District. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and the Mole Valley District Council team, as well as the generosity of those who own places of interest, from 8th to 11th September residents will be able to access places usually hidden away from view and enjoy lectures on an array of cultural topics.
And finally, the annual Arts Alive festival gets underway this month with a wonderful celebration of music, dance, poetry and theatre. Mole Valley District Council created Arts Alive 23 years ago and continues to support events across the District during the six week festival. The talent and enthusiasm of those who take part is always inspiring and I encourage you to attend as many events as possible.
I am immensely pleased and proud that Mole Valley District Council continues to support and encourage participation and interest in the arts, culture and our heritage I do hope that you will get involved where you can.
Councillor Vivienne Michael
Leader of Mole Valley District Council