A new vision and an action plan are being drawn up to ensure Colchester capitalises on its abundance of creative talent and infrastructure. The vision and action plan - entitled Creative Colchester - is led by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy. It has been supported by strategic partners including Colchester Borough Council, Arts Council England, Essex County Council, University of Essex and the Haven Gateway Partnership.
The oldest recorded town in Britain, Colchester has a proud heritage. Today, its cultural presence includes the widely-acclaimed Mercury Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre, Castle Museum and its Town Walls. And now it has firstsite, a leading venue for contemporary visual arts which is set to be recognised at an international level.
There is a wealth of other cultural activity within the borough, including creative education opportunities at the University of Essex and Colchester Institute. Colchester can boast the largest creative economy in Essex and the Haven Gateway with 1,300 creative businesses providing employment to over 5,600 employees. A priority growth area for the town, this accounts for 18.3% of all businesses in the borough, and includes advertising, design, web production, film, arts, crafts, performing arts and publishing
Colchester Borough Council is hosting a breakfast event on 11 November at firstsite to workshop ideas for the 5-year Action Plan with the creative sector. A grant of £25,000 from the Haven Gateway is available to help kick-start delivery of the Action Plan. Priorities and recommendations for how this should be spent will come forward from the event.
download executive summary
download full report
download launch programme