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World's best heading to county art fiesta

Businesses across Telford and Shropshire are to benefit from an international art festival taking place in May.

The International Watercolour Masters event takes place at Lilleshall Hall near Newport from May 15-24 and will feature more than 50 master artists from across the UK, Europe, South America and beyond.

As well as the artists themselves, people from as far away as Australia have booked tickets to the event, where visitors will be able to marvel at more than 150 watercolour masterpieces on display, take part in workshops and watch live demonstrations with the artists.

Organiser David Poxon, himself a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, said: “IWM 2024 is again bringing together leading masters of watercolour from all corners of the globe to exhibit, demonstrate, and lead workshops at this historic venue.

“We are also expecting thousands of visitors over the course of the event, and all those people will be staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants and visiting local shops and attractions - it will provide a big boost for the local economy.

“The artists will be staying at the Ramada hotel in Telford centre, and the hotel staff have been fantastic at accommodating everyone’s needs. We will also be holding our gala dinner in the hotel.

“Shropshire is a fabulous county, and I’m delighted that people from all around the world will get the chance to experience a little of its history, culture and scenic beauty.”

Entry to the festival costs £10 per day, with discounts for a 10-day pass. Tickets to take part in workshops are available to purchase separately and are already selling fast.

David, who lives near Bridgnorth, added: “This is the second time Lilleshall Hall has hosted the event and we expect it to be even bigger and better this time."

IWM 2024 will be based in a specially-built arena inside Ford Hall at Lilleshall, where the exhibition and the live demonstrations will take place, which will be filmed and streamed for the newly-formed IWM TV. Special teaching rooms next to the main show will host three or four workshops every day, hosted by the master artists themselves.