MOVERS and shakers aiming to do "something truly spectacular" for Taunton enjoyed a luncheon hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.

Among Annie Maw's guests were lyricist Sir Tim Rice and his director and writer son, Donald, as well as Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis.

The event at Taunton's Castle Hotel was to win the support of a group of influential people from Somerset to win their support for ArtsTaunton.

The campaigning group wants to see the county town transformed into a prime regional centre for culture, entertainment and leisure in the South West.

Chairman Kit Chapman said: "Arts and culture have a crucial social function.

"They drive a better quality of life and wellbeing. They are essential to education. They stimulate the creative industries and promote tourism.

"Above all, arts and culture is best placed to build an area's reputation by establishing a unique sense of place.

"To make it happen here, we need to begin thinking like a city, Somerset's 'capital city'.

"We want to see a town alive with top quality cultural and entertainment events; great public art; innovative landscaping; and a monumental, landmark sculpture heralding Taunton as the 'Gateway to the South West'."