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: Research to develop a knowledge base

We will carry 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/ Formal education providers

3. Community organisations

4. Pre-school

5. “Working together”

6. Digital Tools

7. Businesses

Workstream 2: The Incubator Programme

The incubator programme is a unique opportunity for 5-7 project initiatives (creative businesses) to get involved with the LCEP in cultivating creative ideas based on developing creative and cultural career pathways and skills for work.

A typical incubator programme takes businesses at a relatively early stage, provides them with a structured, time-bound programme to drive and shape their ideas. In the LCEP’s 9-month programme, we will provide a share of £12,500 of seed funding, 1-1 support, Action Learning sets, support to develop Arts Award-ready projects and further support from a specific reference group for each initiative.

The LCEP’s incubator programme will help develop our understanding of the potential for peer-support-based incubators to stimulate and enhance the delivery of creative and cultural opportunities. 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 and how to apply.

Workstream 3: 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. Above is a diagram of what the framework looks like in managing the LCEP and ensuring we meet our goals.

How to Get involved

1. The Incubator Programme: Do you have an idea; you would like to pilot that supports children and young people access the cultural and creative sector and/or develops their creative skills?

2. Take part in our research: Our first online survey and a series of focus groups will launch May 3rd 2022. These will help us identify various needs and opportunities that will help develop a better understanding to inform the LCEP’s programme activities.

3. Join our ArtsMark Partnership Programme by attending an Artsmark and Arts Award Exploration Day with Royal Opera House Bridge. Open to cultural organisations and schools.

4. Support our vision by becoming a member of the LCEP. We want to hear from teachers, creative and cultural practitioners/organisations, employers, and young people 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.