Inspiring opportunities for every young person in Chelmsford


Still in the early days, Chelmsford’s Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP) is already committed to ensuring that no child misses out on the opportunities to create, compose, perform, visit, experience, and participate in arts, culture, and creative learning.

The key focus for Chelmsford LCEP is to strengthen and build on innovative partnerships from the arts and culture and education sectors working together to support the cultural education and learning experiences of all Children and Young People in Chelmsford.

The Vision for Chelmsford

Build on Chelmsford’s strength and heritage in innovation, provide all Children and Young People sustainable and accessible cultural and creative opportunities that broaden their horizons and support them to reach their potential.

“The LCEP delivers directly against Towards 2040 (Chelmsford’s Shared Cultural Vision) which sets out a priority to increase opportunities for all children and young people. It also complements the work of Ignite Chelmsford, to support the sector to develop ambitious, creative and sustainable cultural programmes for local residents and visitors.


Marc De’ath, Cultural Services Manager, Chelmsford City Council.

Achieving Our Goals 

The partnership is driven by 3 main goals

1. Children and young people have a clear role in shaping Chelmsford’s Cultural Identity.

2. A sustainable and accessible provision of creative and cultural opportunities for Children and Young People.

3. Creativity and culture at the heart of the futures of our children and young people.

To achieve our goals, the LCEP seeks to unlock cultural entitlement for Children and Young People in Chelmsford, specifically through future creative careers and skills development with cross-sector partnerships. Therefore, we will have a collaborative and evidence-based approach to developing a longer-term strategy focused on effective multi-sector collaborations and building on engagement.

Our approach is divided into 3 main workstreams, allowing significant scope for further research and involvement in line with our commitment. Some of the work involved in these workstreams can be found below.

Workstream 1: Establishing the Chelmsford LCEP Governance

Funded by Royal Opera House Bridge with an Arts Council England, National Lottery investment, this 2-year programme will be delivered by Chelmsford City Council in partnership with Culture Chelmsford.

Below is a diagram of what the framework looks like in managing the LCEP and ensuring we meet our goals.  

Hear from one of the LCEP Steering Group members, Cllr Jude Deakin, on why they got involved here.

Workstream 2: Research to Develop a Knowledge Base

Throughout the 2-year project we are carrying out a series of short, targeted pieces of research acting to both inform our longer-term strategy and as a tool to further increase engagement and bring in voices from across our key stakeholder groups.

This will be ongoing, and data will be collected through various surveys, focus groups and interviews.  

Key areas of interest are: 

  1. Children and Young People – Initial research with schools and Scouts
  2. Education Professionals – Schools and teachers
  3. Businesses
  4. Cultural Organisations
  5. Pre-school
  6. “Working together”
  7. Digital Tools

 Workstream 3: The Incubator Programme

The incubator programme is a unique opportunity for us to work with 5 different project initiatives that will build an understanding of what works in developing creative and cultural career pathways as well as skills for work and nurture Chelmsford’s future workforce.

The aim is to strengthen and build innovative, inspired, and local partnerships that actively champion creative and cultural opportunities in Chelmsford.  

The projects are supported with 1:1 mentoring, Action Learning Sets, and provided seed funding up to £12,500. We want to develop our understanding of the potential for peer-support-based incubators to stimulate and enhance the delivery of creative and cultural opportunities in Chelmsford.

We want to generate evidence on practices that are successful (and unsuccessful) in building creative and cultural connections for children and young people as well as enhancing their understanding of the sector and developing skills. Find out more about the incubator projects.  

How to get involved

  1. Take part in our research: We want to ensure every child in Chelmsford has equal access to arts, culture, and creativity, emphasising the importance of creative skills for a successful future workforce.  As part of this research, we will be carrying out several focus group sessions in January 2023 asking businesses and employers what value they placed on creative and cultural skills.
  1. Are you a teacher or part of a cultural organisation? Join our ArtsMark Partnership Programme by attending an Artsmark and Arts Award Exploration Day in February 2023. with Royal Opera House Bridge.
  1. Support our vision by becoming a member of the LCEP. We want to hear from teachers, creative and cultural practitioners/organisations, employers, young people and parents that are interested and supportive of the LCEP’s goals and priorities. To become a member, simply sign up to our database choosing a category that best describes you to receive relevant information about how you can get involved.

More about Local Cultural Education Partnerships

Local Cultural Education Partnerships are an initiative of Arts Council England and the Department for Education which, encourages the improvement of cultural education for children and young people in their local area. By joining up schools with cultural organisations and businesses, creating a growing movement for more and better cultural education across the country.

This is in response to the Cultural Education Challenge that urges for the possibility that every child can have the chance to visit, experience and participate in extraordinary work, and be able to know more, understand more. The Royal Opera House Bridge is the ACE’s Bridge organisation that will support Chelmsford in connecting cultural organisations and the education sector to help develop a strong network of valuable cultural provisions.

If you have any questions about the LCEP please email Rachana Vaja on


More About Our Membership Benefits.

Member Directory

Lots of amazing people connecting, creating, collaborating, seeking support and inspiration. Helping Chelmsford realise its ambition as a city of creativity and innovation.

If you work, volunteer, or study in the creative and cultural industries in Chelmsford, stick your flag in the ground and connect with others


Hosted throughout the city and online, our monthly socials and regular creative events provide a relaxed, place to meet and share ideas, helping ideas to grow and take hold.


Essex 2020, Year of Science and Creativity provided inspiration for Chelmsford to launch a friendly, open, and multi-sector group focused on delivering local activities and events across the city.

Through this hub we have developed a strong sense of co-operation. We hold a monthly online gathering to connect, converse, and collaborate, sharing and supporting each-other’s work in practical, ‘hands-on’ ways.

So, whether you’re curating Chelmsford’s next big festival, starting a new creative business, or need some help producing an activity… you can make connections and find support, simply by joining up and logging in.


The Ignite Chelmsford Cultural Partnership provides a voice for our members and the wider creative sector.

Launched in 2018 the partnership represents the views of Chelmsford’s diverse communities and sectors. They guide the delivery of our shared cultural vision, using their knowledge to inform, challenge, and feed into strategic development opportunities to enable meaningful action.