Ebbsfleet Development Corporation hosts the 2023 Cultural Placemaking Showcase to celebrate the work achieved towards cultural placemaking over the past 5 years.

Ebbsfleet, the first garden city in 100 years, has hosted a showcase event celebrating the work achieved towards cultural placemaking over the past five years. The event celebrated the launch of Ebbsfleet’s Cultural Infrastructure Prospectus, which welcomes the creative sector to help make Ebbsfleet a great place to live, work and visit, outlining ambitions for spaces, infrastructure and creative programming.

Cultural Placemaking has been championed by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation over the past five years throughout the delivery of Ebbsfleet Garden City, embedding community at the heart of planning, design and management of public spaces and activities across Ebbsfleet and neighbouring communities.

Acknowledging the important role arts, culture and heritage will continue to play in shaping the growing community, the Cultural Infrastructure Prospectus will set ambitions for Ebbsfleet to become a cultural and creative hub within the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, highlighting future opportunities which will make Ebbsfleet an attractive destination to relocate to.

The event was opened by Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, who welcomed talks and film from a variety of creative organisations, panel discussions and shared learnings on the future of cultural placemaking in Ebbsfleet. Alongside panel discussions and shared learnings from industry experts, the event explored the importance of having a community-led cultural programme, with a selection of achievements in this area on display around the event. The event was closed with a showcase from Loop Dance Company, who delivered an exploratory performance focused on mental health awareness.

The event, hosted by Emma Wilcox, Director of Creative Estuary, provided a platform for industry experts to discuss Ebbsfleet’s development to date and opportunities for continued progress: “Ebbsfleet are hugely valued partners working with us at Creative Estuary to deliver the vision of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. The Cultural Infrastructure Prospectus launched today will ensure that Ebbsfleet Garden City can develop with cultural and creativity at its centre, and that communities and creative producers have the spaces they need to thrive. It’s such a pleasure to work with an organisation who values cultural as such an integral part of their plans.’

Laura Kavanagh of Blueprint Arts commented on achievements to date:It has been an incredible journey for Blueprint Arts over the past year working with communities in Ebbsfleet and surrounding areas to develop arts and cultural activities, through our project, The Creative Exchange.

We are lucky to have such a vibrant and generous community to work with who give their time and energy to make exciting things happen. It is wonderful that organisations working in Ebbsfleet continue to share the incredible place-making work that has been going on, at this event and explore how we can continue to grow and collaborate.’

Kevin McGeough noted the importance of embedding cultural placemaking at the heart of Ebbsfleet’s Regeneration: “Ebbsfleet’s ambition is to enable and empower everyday creativity in a vibrant and inclusive community, by supporting residents to have a range of places to go and providing access to a variety of things to do in a thriving community which is the destination of choice for the cultural and creative sector.

We will achieve this by co-designing the community infrastructure with our residents and by co-locating cultural opportunities in the buildings and spaces that we enable.”

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation continues on its commitment to champion culture and creativity within the growing community of Ebbsfleet. EDC look forward to working with the support of partners and peers to deliver a community-led plan for embedding the creative sector in the heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City.

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