Rachana Vaja
8 Nov, 2022
LCEP: Introducing our first Incubator cohort

The LCEP Incubator  

Earlier this year, we invited creative practitioners and organisations to express an interest for our incubator programme.

The incubator is a key part of the LCEPs investment in developing new creative ideas that prioritise opportunities for children and young people in Chelmsford.  

We are pleased to introduce the following 5 projects that form our first incubator cohort. Each of these are looking to test and explore specific research questions over the next 9 months.

We are very excited to see and learn how these ideas can be embedded in the cultural infrastructure for Chelmsford’s young people.  


Denholm Ellis from Hot Box Live 

Young people are short on situations where many people enjoy performances of original live music. We want to introduce young people to this, whilst giving them the skills to set up and layout stages, sound check, engineer & film in a time-critical environment.

The Soundcheck Sessions project is aimed at 14 to 18 year-olds who are still at School and will focus on showing them how to set up a stage and soundcheck a band.

The outcome will be some basic sound engineering and lighting skills, giving young people first-hand practical experience in the music industry. 

  1. How can we create sustainable partnerships with schools, using the soundcheck sessions as a starting point?
  2. Does this format of soundcheck sessions help young people to improve other life skills combining learning and delivery of live music events?
  3. What would it look like for Hot Box Live to become an arts Award Centre and how can we support young people to achieve the award? 


Jemma McDonnell from Paper Birds Theatre Company

A key ambition of our project is to develop creativity in children from a younger age.

Creativity is a skill that is relevant and powerful in all careers and one that can never be produced or replaced by machines; therefore, it is key to all future professions.

We will explore and pilot a teaching resource, the ‘Primary Creativity Cards’ (PCCs).

The PCCs will offer teachers creative ways to deliver their lessons and provide opportunities for both teachers and their students to access creativity hoping that creativity will be a key skill developed by children, allowing pathways into the creative industries from a much earlier age. 

  1. What are the current barriers to creativity in the classroom for primary teachers?
  2. How can creativity help both teachers and students in their learning? 
  3. How can creativity be built and developed within KS2 using the ‘primary creativity cards? 


Majida Burch from Brennan and Burch

This project is a brand-new approach for us that we want to test out in supporting young people that find formal education disengaging and hopefully drawing positive attention to Chelmsford as a trend setting city.

We will combine arts with sport, music, subculture, entrepreneurship, fashion and so on by bringing in local artists/creatives to talk about their work and run inspiring practical workshops.

Young people can learn hands on skills from people within the creative industries. They will help choose session content and artforms we are studying. 

  1. How can we make creative activities more accessible for hard to reach and vulnerable young people in and around Chelmsford? 
  2. What elements will help maintain the engagement of young people to create a sustainable project? 
  3. Does this model make creative industries more accessible for young people, giving them a better understanding of job opportunities? 


Michelle Durant from Chelmsford Community Radio 

Working with radio as a medium is fun and embeds functional skills beautifully. It improves confidence and embraces creativity as well as providing an excuse to tackle all sorts of topics.

This pilot will be a new chapter for Chelmsford, the birthplace of radio broadcasting, working towards the ambition of having a radio club in more schools.

This project invite participation from people within and outside the school community. This new level of support brings recognition to the children, pride in their work plus the confidence to continue working towards stronger outcomes, a potential career awaits. 

  1. How can children use radio to present an interest in the historic aspects of their immediate and wider community? 
  2. Can we endeavour to bridge the gap between older and younger generations with a shared interest in the local area? 
  3. How far can we put the technical aspects into practice with the children learning skills such as editing? 


Saskia Gillespie from Ace Music Therapy 

This project is called ‘Music of the Forest’, which is a series of outdoor sound workshops that will help children to connect with themselves, their environment and music in a deep and meaningful way.

I am so passionate about the benefits of connecting with nature, sound and music for mental health and wellbeing. I am particularly aware that this is something that many children are struggling with today.

There is so much to be learnt and experienced by connecting with the sounds of the Earth and it will teach children valuable skills that will support their emotional wellbeing throughout their lives. 

  1. How will extended engagement with nature and sound impact vulnerable children’s mental health? 
  2. Is this project viable in helping to ease children through the transition between primary and secondary school? 
  3. What (positive) impact did this project have on children’s behaviour and engagement in the classroom. 

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