Essex 2020 – Year of Science & Creativity

Essex 2020 is a year-long, county-wide celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in Essex.

Inspired by the prestigious British Science Festival, which comes to Chelmsford in 2020 (the first time the festival has come to Essex in its 189-year history), Essex 2020 will present a 12-month complementary programme of STEAM-related exhibitions, festivals, performances, workshops, conferences, trails and more for everyone to enjoy across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

This an important spring board moment for Chelmsford as Chelmsford City Council looks set out a new shared cultural vision with its communities and embark on a journey to raise our profile as a Cultural Destination. It is also an opportunity for us to collaborate and support our neighbours in Maldon, Brentwood and Basildon.

It is incredible timing, in addition to hosting Europe’s longest-standing festival of science, the year marks two significant local centenaries:

  1. The world’s first live entertainment radio broadcast, by the Marconi Company, from Chelmsford, with Dame Nelly Melba
  2. 100 years since the formation of the Chelmsford Science Engineering Society

Further afield, the county also celebrates 400 years since The Mayflower left Harwich for the New World, the 300th birthday of the Naze Tower and 200 years since The Beagle took Darwin from the East of England to the Galapagos.

How can you get involved?

Sign up to the Essex 2020 Mailing list. Partners behind Essex 2020 are seeking to engage people at every level of participation, every age and from every community.  Whether it be organising your own celebration of STEAM or attending to take part in an activity.

To maximise the local response and ensure we harness the opportunity to put Essex on the map, we have formed one of six ‘local hubs‘ bringing together groups from Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon and Maldon.

We are will be running regular events(new dates to be updated regularly) to provide a cross-sector, positive space to encourage participation, collaboration and quality programming. We will consider all activities in our area and can provide additional support for submissions, match projects with funding, resources and marketing – and connect with other Hubs if there is an ambition to move a project around the county.

We want to bring together people who are:

i. developing, or interested in developing, activities under the broad Essex 2020 science and creativity umbrella with a focus on Chelmsford, Maldon, Brentwood, or Basildon.

ii. willing and able to support them to put their ideas into action.

Want to get involved? We suggest you start by reading all the information available at After reading, if you have a new or existing project you’d like to run under the Essex 2020 banner then you simply need to submit details of your idea online. It should take no more than 10 minutes and once completed, if your project seeks to benefit  residents and businesses in Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon or Maldon, you’ll be put intouch to join our hub. If local to Chelmsford, you will potentially invited to apply for funding from Chelmsford City Council’s own fund.  Those further afield will be redirected to hubs based from Colchester and North Essex, Southend and Thurrock, Braintree, Uttlesford or Harlow.

Alternatively, if you’ve got an idea you’d like to talk through or have any questions, you can email

We’ll also be blogging regularly to share a taster of projects and inspiration we find along the way and you can watch the momentum as it builds on twitter using #essex2020