An arts venue in Cockermouth is opening its doors to the public for a weekend to showcase the activities and opportunities available.

The Kirkgate Centre, will hold the open weekend on November 16 and 17, where people can see what is available and will also get the chance to have their say on new ideas for activities in West Cumbria over the next five years.

The centre offers weekly film nights, regular gigs and an annual pantomime, but also have daytime projects and activities such as exhibitions, exercise classes and children's craft workshops.

Over the weekend there will be behind the scenes tours to see the film projection room, dressing rooms, and backstage, with a photographer on hand to take free portraits on stage; a pop-up shop - Cockfrock - selling second hand ladies clothing; some short films screened and community groups that use the Kirkgate will have stalls.

Kirkgate Arts Heritage Group will have a small exhibition on local history and musicians and the Kirkgate Youth Theatre will be performing.

Marion Bowman, chair of the trustees of Kirkgate Arts, which owns and runs the centre and Arts Out West, which takes professional performers to village halls and community centres throughout the region, said: "We’d especially like to invite people who don’t usually come to the Kirkgate to find out what goes on and tell us what they’d like to see and do with us.

She said: "If people call in at 3pm, before the Christmas lights switch on at 5pm, they will catch a demonstration of sword fighting by the North Lakes Historical Fencing Group, who use the facility every week."

Entry to the open weekend is free and there will be complimentary hot drinks and cakes.