No. 11 the Meadows Photo: Freya Lees
Marc De'ath
15 Mar, 2023
A new Cultural Strategy for Chelmsford

As Cultural Services Manager at Chelmsford City Council, I am very excited to say that yesterday, our friends at Culture Chelmsford, launched a new, district wide, Cultural Strategy for Chelmsford.

Over recent months they have expertly led us and partners through a process of community engagement — reviewing and rationalising lots of conversations, consultation, wider strategy and policy documents, to create a cohesive, succinct ambitious creative plan for Chelmsford over the next 10 years.

This isn’t Culture Chelmsford’s document or a City Council policy but something that we can all own and embrace as a district. Every one of us has an important active role to play.

Our work starts now. Using the strategy as a guide, I’ll be working with the other Ignite Chelmsford Cultural Partners, my team and wider council colleagues to embed the principles and themes in our respective forward planning. For my immediate department that includes the Museum, Theatre & Events and our cultural partnerships work (including Ignite and the Local Cultural Education Partnership). Looking at how we can help bring the ambitions to life every day and deliver against some of the recommendations.

Photos: Freya Lees. Attendees at the Cultural Strategy Launch share their Creative Journeys. Viewable in Number 11 The Meadows. From left to right: Dr Greg Deacon, Writtle University College, Amber Nyoni, Chelmsford City Council, Lorraine Jarvis Chelmsford CVS, Sofia Roja, The Art Place, Malcom Noble, Chelmsford Civic Society, Sarah Barfoot, National Trust, Carol Cole, Essex Business Board, Cllr Richard Lee, Chelmsford City Council, Adam Wood, Teledyne E2V, Elliot Boakes, University of the Arts London.

Want to know more and get involved?

Firstly, I am hoping that other organisations and groups respond in the same way as us. We firmly believe no single organisation can achieve this alone. I am offering to share my experiences of trying to embed the strategy in our plans, with anyone interested in doing the same. And of course, see how we can collaborate and support one another in delivery at the same time too.

Secondly, as part of the launch, Culture Chelmsford — with support from the Chelmsford CVS, Essex Community Foundation, Chelmsford City Council, Chelmsford For You and Dominus — have opened No. 11 The Meadows. An urban living room and warm, welcoming space where people can drop in for a chat, cup of tea and over the next 11 weeks take part in a vibrant programme of community and cultural activities delivered by an array of different community partners.

Thirdly, Culture Chelmsford are hosting an open call for performers, creative practitioners and arts organisations… a series of new funded opportunities to provide free performances and immersive creative experiences in the space. To find out more download the full brief, application form here.

Finally, share your Creative Story. What has been the most memorable experience in your life?
⁠— Is it a book or poem that changed how you saw things.⁠— A gig or festival you attended that you’ve never forgotten
⁠— A performance you took part in as a child
⁠— A picture you saw in a gallery
— Or something else

Big or small, every day or significant moments. Join the #OurCulturalJourney campaign on social media and let’s get Chelmsford sharing our cultural journeys with the world.

Want to stay in the know?

Visit Culture Chelmsford online. Download and read the Cultural Strategy document

Sign up as an Ignite Chelmsford member and attend one of our many events

Follow #OurCulturalJourney on Social Media

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