Funding Update

Carol Cain holding a Sheppey Sheep made during a Promenade Festival Small Experiment workshop at Restoration Youth, Sheerness.

Carol Cain holding a Sheppey Sheep made during a Promenade Festival Small Experiment workshop at Restoration Youth, Sheerness.

Following our first decision meeting in July, we are now working with successful applicants on their projects and giving feedback to those who were not funded this round.

The next application deadline is 10.00 am Monday 16 September.

Three weeks on from the first decisions on our programme we have had time to reflect on how it went.  We are keen to improve our processes and we have listened to people’s feedback.  We want to be sure everyone is clear about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it so here is some more information about how we made decisions and who took part.

Who made the decisions?

All project applications were looked at by an independent Decision Panel.  The Decision Panel is made up of a minimum of four people:

  • One of the non-arts organisations from the Creative People and Places consortium
  • A Community Catalyst from Swale
  • A Community Catalyst from Medway
  • An Artistic Critical Friend who is not from the local area but brings specialist expertise to the decision making.

In future we will also be inviting previous award recipients to be part of the panel too.

The panel is managed by the Creative Enabler (Steph Fuller) and theProject Ambassador (Nicole Mollett) also attends, but they don’t make any decisions.  None of the arts organisations on the Consortium are involved in the decision making in any way.

The panel this time were:

  • Sarah Williams (Consortium organisation). Sarah lives in Medway and is Deputy Director of Swale CVS.
  • Natasha Steer (Community Catalyst Medway)  Natasha lives in Chatham and is the founder and Director of Creatabot – a developing mini arts organisation. Creatabot concentrates on supporting and promoting creative people and works primarily on community arts projects.
  • Griselda Mussett (Community Catalyst Swale)  Griselda lives in Faversham and amongst other things is a Trustee of the Faversham Creek Trust.
  • Jenny Roberts (Artistic Critical Friend)  Jenny is a freelance arts manager living in Brighton. She has programmed arts centres and theatres, run a touring theatre company, and most recently, worked for Arts Council England supporting artists and organisations to develop their ideas and their arts businesses.

How were the decisions made?

The Decision Panel considered every project which was put forward for funding in this round.  All the projects were scrutinised in the same way to ensure that they met the Creative People and Places Programme Principles and Aims and that it was clear what the grant would be funding.

Why were some Out of the Ordinary projects funded this round?

It was part of the original Creative People & Places Swale & Medway application that some year 1 Out of the Ordinary projects would be proposed by the Consortium members to help create momentum and learning for the programme.  £150,000 was budgeted for these projects in our business plan.  These applications were scrutinised by the independent Decision Panel in the same way as all the other projects.

In future years Out of the Ordinary projects will be open to other organisations to apply.

Was there any other feedback from the Decision Panel?

The Decision Panel made a number of general observations about the applications we received:

  • A significant number of projects were suitable for other funding – particularly Awards for All or Grants for the Arts, and should be encouraged to go down this route.
  • Unsuccessful applicants often had not explained who their audiences were, the wider community benefit from their projects or how people would be able to carry on their arts participation.
  • Project management fees were very variable.  These would be different for different projects but should not exceed 15% of the total budget.
  • Few applicants appeared to have considered looking for match funding or support in kind.  Although this had not been specified as a requirement, it should be encouraged as part of the approach to sustaining activity in the future.

How much money has been awarded so far?

We have made conditional offers to a maximum value of £150,000 in total for all three strands of the programme (Small Experiments, Community Catalyst projects, Out of the Ordinary projects).  Once all the grant offers have been accepted and conditions met we will publish a list of all the grants and how much they are for.

We will soon be publishing our Business Plan, which will give you more detail of our activity and finances.

Look out for our next newsletter which will have updates on projects which are taking place over the summer including Love Sheppey X on Saturday 24th August



First Projects Funded!

We had a fantastic response to our first call for project ideas, with over 40 applications in total.  These came from a huge range of individuals and organisations across Swale and Medway.  Even though we couldn’t fund them all we will be talking to many of these people about how we can work with them in the future and bring their ideas into our programme.

We have 10 Small Experiments going ahead.  These are from:

  • Janys Thorn & Chris Reed.  Sheep for Sheppey - linked to the Promenade festival.
  • Lance Phillips - Physical Folk a new physical theatre group based in Luton using a variety of art forms to tell traditional and modern Folk tales
  • Myra Howse  Swale Urban Arts Festival pilot
  • Rikard Osterlund a portrait project working with young people in Medway.
  • Robert Jarvis Singing Windows: testing how creative use of audio can affect place and people’s perception of place
  • Tamara Gummer (River Voice)  Building skills and sustainability of the group.
  • Trish & Dan Scott  We like what we know and we know what we like - an opportunity for residents to commission artists to make work for their own homes.
  • Mark Loos (Medway Swale Estuary Partnership)  A Month of Sundays - a musical tour round the North Kent Marshes
  • Laurie Harpum (Love Sheppey) A selling craft event at Barton’s Point.
  • Chris Sacre Inclusive family workshops in collaboration with Kent Deaf Children’s Society

We’ve supported 2 Community Catalyst projects:

  • Natalie Banaigs (Kent Creative Live) will be establishing  a support group for artists and creative professionals in Swale & Medway offering opportunities to network, collaborate and improve their skills.
  • Tania Holland will pilot a project Davy Jones’ Locker, which is a new platform for live music making, testing unusual sites and enabling community members to become music curators, programmers and promoters.

Finally we have supported four Out of the Ordinary projects from the Creative People and Places project team.  In brief these are:

  • Lookout - Light Vessel 21 An opportunity for artists, local residents and organisations to come together to reflect and imagine something new which can be shared with others.  This project includes a ‘pirate’ radio station, and sharing of activity both aboard and on shore.
  • The Radio Project FrancisKnight working with Community Catalyst Daniel Nash and Bridge Radio community radio station on Sheppey to create opportunities for three artists to work with local groups and societies to create and present new art on the radio.
  • Artlands North Kent - Constant Reinvention.  Working with houseboat communities on the River Medway and artists Kobberling and Kaltwasser to design and build a new floating social space.
  • A feasibility study for Faversham Abbey Illuminated, an ambitious proposal from Creek Creative bringing local history to life through light, spectacle and performance.

Our team is growing:

We have appointed a Youth Catalyst, Siobhán Timoney, who will be working with us to engage young people with the programme.  Siobhán will be making contacts over the next few weeks as we start to plan our work with young people  You can contact her at siobhan

The youth programme is generously supported by ROH Bridge.


We’re looking to hire a Youth Catalyst

Job title: Youth Catalyst
Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway

1. Introduction

Creative People and Places is an action research programme which supports new and radically different approaches to engagement with the arts. In August 2012 a consortium of individuals from grass roots organisations in Swale and Medway (the Discovery Group) was provisionally awarded funding of £1.47m from Arts Council England for an application to this programme. This fund aims to support people to experience and be inspired by the arts, irrespective of where they live and their social, educational or financial circumstances. This is a targeted fund, aimed at parts of the country where people’s involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average.

The long term vision for Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway is to find new routes into creativity and the arts, embedded with and led by local people, building capacity in the arts community and creating demand for excellent arts activity. We will work with professional and amateur groups and individuals inside and outside the arts.

2. Overview

2.1 Vision

“Engaging and re-imagining the arts as valued and integral parts of people’s everyday.”

Our vision is that within ten years Swale and Medway will be known as creative places, where there is demand for excellent local arts activity.

The spirit of creative experimentation within Swale and Medway will have resulted in more people from across the area seeing and experiencing arts and culture, as well as taking part and growing new creative activities. This will be underpinned by a strong, inclusive arts network and supportive local decision-makers. Our programme will have inspired others across the UK.

Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway is a laboratory. It is a place to try new things: to experiment with new ways of getting people involved; to make things happen. Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway is an incubator. It is a space where people are supported, helping them to turn extraordinary ideas into reality.

A key principle of this vision is to create a ‘ladder of engagement’ whereby people in Swale and Medway will be supported to ‘follow up’ one good experience with another, ensuring that opportunities always lead to the ‘next rung’ on the ladder.

2.2 Mission

Working in partnership with local people we will drive research and act as a conduit through which new models and approaches can be developed and tested, along with creative experiments.

3 key principles will guide the programme:

  • It will be inclusive, removing barriers to participation. It will not be limited by size of organisation or idea, or whether a group is professional or amateur, or the type of art they make. It will actively engage with non-arts organisations from the voluntary sector, public sector and business.
  • It will adapt. The programme is designed to be flexible to different, shifting contexts and take on feedback and ideas from participants. Conversation and listening is key to this.
  • High Quality. We aspire to the highest possible quality of process and art outcomes in what we do.

We are working in partnership with Royal Opera House Bridge to deliver specific outcomes for children and young people within this work. ROH Bridge is one of ten national ‘Bridges’ that work across England to connect children and young people with great art and culture. Funded by Arts Council England, the Bridge team work across Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North Kent. Working with professionals in the Education, Arts and Culture sectors, ROH Bridge helps support and strengthen networks and opportunities, through investment and advocacy.

Job title: Youth Catalyst
Job Description, Person Specification and Application Procedure

Location: Medway and Swale
Job context: The Youth Catalyst is a part-time self-employed post and will be appointed at £10,000 fee per annum.
Contract period: Fixed-term July 2013 to July 2015.

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 28th June 2013.
Interviews will be held on Thursday 11th July 2013 in Faversham.

The Youth Catalyst will be commissioned to directly engage with young people to ensure they have a strong voice in the overall programme.

They will devise and deliver a programme of activities in line with the ethos of Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway to meet the following outcomes:

  • Arrange minimum two inspirational go-sees and speakers (local, national or international) to meet local young people and the CPP governance team with the aim to share learning, build confidence and raise CYP aspiration.
  • Recruit minimum 20 children and young people to the programme through working closely with key stakeholders: schools, youth services etc.
  • Support minimum 10 cultural organisations, schools, youth settings and individuals to access Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway Small Experiment and Community Catalyst schemes.
  • Support core cohort of young people to shape and develop the role for children and young people in Year 2 of CPP.
  • Minimum 8 young people are identified and supported to become community catalysts (minimum one YP in each of the 8 areas within Swale and Medway – Faversham, Sheppey, Sittingbourne, Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham).
  • Minimum 10 young people develop small experiments and curate CPP activity within the two-year period.
  • Minimum 8 new approaches for engaging with young people are developed by 8 locally based organizations.
  • Support Swale and Medway’s Arts Award Advisors in identifying new opportunities and establishing new connections to engage with YP living in the most deprived areas of Medway and Swale. 30% increase in young people achieving Arts Award (minimum 15 young people).
  • Minimum 10 new projects connecting CYP, arts and non-arts providers, 3 of which are sustainable beyond project period.
  • Online Network established for communication between YP, arts and non-arts providers.

Person Specification
Qualifications: educated to degree level or equivalent experience.


  • Proven experience of working with young people on large-scale strategic project programmes.
  • Significant experience of working with multiple partners and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of and a passion for the creative sector.
  • Experience of project/programme evaluation.
  • Experience of budget management.
  • Other Qualities Essential
  • Excellent communication skills – ability to communicate effectively with children and young people.
  • The ability to be self-directed and a team player.
  • Fully conversant with principles and practice of Child Protection and safe-guarding.
  • Enhanced clean CRB/DBS.
  • Desirable
  • Established regional and national networks, which are relevant to the Youth Programme and wider aims of Creative People and Place.
  • Creative, entrepreneurial and willing to take calculated risks.
  • Excellent decision making skills.
  • Full clean driving license and access to a car.

Contract Details

Location: for the majority of this work you will be based in the field. However you will have access to desk space at The CPP: Swale & Medway office at Creek Creative, Faversham.

Management: you will report to the Creative Enabler and will be accountable through her to the Consortium.

Fees and Conditions: the post will be appointed at a fee level £10,000 per annum. You will be expected to discuss a daily rate in your application. Payment will be monthly in arrears on submission of an invoice. You will be responsible for your own PAYE and National Insurance. Travel and other expenses will be reimbursed (within an agreed budget) retrospectively on submission of an invoice.

Trial Period: a probation period of six months will be in place after which the contract will be extended to the full term.

Holidays: this is a freelance post so there is no paid holiday.

Working Hours: due to the nature of this post, flexibility in terms of working hours is required. This may include evening and weekend working. You will need to agree your hours in advance with the Creative Enabler with some regular contact time available. A working day is considered 8 hours.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for the role of Youth Catalyst post please send:

  1. A copy of your Curriculum Vitae.
  2. A covering letter outlining your interest in the role and your relevant experience, how you would approach the work, and your daily rate. Please pay particular attention to the person specification (max two sides of A4).
  3. Details of two referees. We will only approach referees with your permission if you are offered the work. One of the referees should be your current or most recent employer.

The application should be emailed to jobs as a PDF no later than 5pm on Friday 28th June 2013. If you have any enquiries about applying for this post please contact jobs

Steph Fuller appointed as Creative Enabler

We are delighted to announce that Stephanie Fuller has been appointed as Creative Enabler for Creative People and Places: Swale & Medway. Stephanie, who is currently senior manager, regional planning at Arts Council England South East, will start her new role on 20th May. Stephanie, who lives in Lewes said: “I’m looking forward hugely to starting my new role as there’s so much potential for exciting new activity in Swale and Medway. There’s lots to do and I can’t wait to get started.”

Stephanie’s background is in visual arts and as well as 10 years in various roles at the Arts Council she has worked for the Crafts Council and British Healthcare Arts and worked as a Freelance Consultant and Creative Producer.

We are currently finalising the business plan for sign off by Arts Council, but one of Stephanie’s first tasks will be to oversee the launch of the “small experiments” strand of the programme, where members of the public will be encouraged to come forward with ideas for experimental projects they would like the group to support.

The small experiment strand is scheduled to launch at the beginning of June and will be an opportunity for members of the public to ask for financial and practical help in setting up small-scale experimental projects. Individuals, organisations, voluntary groups and anyone else who wants to test out new ways of working, whether they come from an arts background or not, are eligible to apply. The projects must explore new ways of involving local residents, including those who would not normally consider taking part in an arts event.

Community Catalysts continue to be nominated via the group’s website and Stephanie will also be involved in selecting successful candidates. The group will work with the Community Catalysts and help them encourage a greater number of people in their local area, both from arts and non-arts communities, to get involved with community activities.

Fiona at Artlands

Fiona Boundy is curator and producer at Artlands North Kent, an organisation offering a programme of contemporary art commissions that take place in public spaces and explore north Kent’s identity. The pieces create connections, encourage innovation and respond to the region’s unique qualities – its landscapes, heritage and people.

Artlands is a not-for-profit organisation that was formed in 2009 in response to significant change and regeneration taking place throughout north Kent. It aims to deliver world-class, public realm commissions, which encourage ambition, excellence, risk and innovation and offer significant professional development opportunities for artists taking part. The organisation wants to engage new audiences in inspirational art projects and improve the quality of life for new and existing communities by providing opportunities to participate in outstanding cultural programmes. Artlands hopes to support economic development by bringing additional funding to north Kent, attracting businesses and tourists to the area, and providing opportunities for skills development and training. Artlands’ approach places an emphasis on collaboration and partnership working in order to share resources, knowledge and expertise.

Artlands, which is part of Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway and is accountable to Medway Council, has delivered three large-scale projects in the last two years, one each in Sittingbourne, Gravesend and Dartford, in collaboration with a number of authorities.

Last autumn in Sittingbourne, Artlands delivered Sleepers Awake by Heather and Ivan Morison, a magical and magnificent installation that saw a giant, illuminated floating “night sun” rise over newly developed Milton Creek Country Park every night at dusk.

The 20m helium-filled balloon, which omitted 45kw of light and could be seen up to 20 miles away, provoked a positive response from local, national and arts press. Much of the local press coverage acted as a catalyst for people walking or getting in their cars to try to find the night sun and then spending time gathered beneath it forming “nocturnal alliances”, just as the Morisons had envisaged.

The project not only promoted the park, a green heart for Sittingbourne complete with walking and cycling tracks, play areas and performance spaces, but also linked the town’s creek-side past with the present industrial landscape illuminated below the balloon. It acted as a beacon, heralding the future of the area, which will continue to embrace regeneration, change and evolution.

The Bearpit by Anna Best was another Artlands commission, based in and on Gravesend’s new Cyclopark, in 2012. Film screenings powered by bicycle, bike “blinging” and a mass ride from Gravesend town centre to the new park were some of the activities that took place before the project moved into a bespoke Bearpit yurt on the Cyclopark site, where discussions, musical performances and film screenings took place. Best collaborated with digital design company Mudlark to create a computer game influenced by the activities, the Cyclopark and Gravesend. Players take on the persona of a bear on a bicycle, traveling through a virtual manifestation of the Cyclopark landscape.

Architectural practice Studio Weave was commissioned by Artlands to create The Ecology of Colour at Ecology Island, Central Park, Dartford, in September 2012. Ecology Island is a dedicated space for the study of the ecological within urban environments and Studio Weave designed and created a bespoke timber building, hand-painted with natural plant dyes, that is part outdoor classroom, part dyeing workshop, part art-studio, part bird-watching hut, part tree house and part shelter. Community members engaged with the building by painting timbers, taking part in workshops inside it and making suggestions for continued future use.

For more information please visit

Carl Jeffrey @FellowCreative

Carl Jeffrey @FellowCreative is a rare (and perhaps radical) individual. He doesn’t represent an organisation or single enterprise. Instead, Carl has a wider frame of reference and a broader set of experiences, upon which he pursues agendas of innovation and forward thinking principles.

Carl joined the Creative People and Places bid development team in January 2011 because he believes that arts, cultural, voluntary and public sector organisations are going to suffer in the future economic landscape. The traditional models associated with public funding are dead. A better, more valued way needs to be found.

Describing himself as a Creative Midwife and Joiner of Dots, Carl has delivered ideas for international brands, public sector organisations and academic bodies such as the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs.

In truth, if you’ve not actually met or worked with him, it’s extremely hard to explain what Carl does. His website reads like ego-centric drivel to some (it’s written to clarify and shape thoughts for himself, not others). He’s undoubtedly better at getting things done than he is at explaining why. All he asks is that he be judged on his actions.

A career as a designer and art director gave Carl an appreciation of the harsh realities of private business, getting things done on time and to budget, and within traditionally measured frameworks. In 2006, believing his energy could be better spent and valued, he founded his first startup, a web-based application to help businesses develop and promote their corporate social responsibility (CSR). This began Carl’s journey into social and sustainable enterprise, and it resulted in presentations to Business Link and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts; among others.

Since, Carl has been a founder and catalyst for various startup ventures, including grass-roots and participatory projects, the most notable being (a Medway based community where people are encouraged to share and develop ideas, roll up their sleeves and get plans and projects off the ground), which was recently awarded a Culture and Design Award for Achievement in Urban Regeneration.

As a Medway resident, he’s been responsible for bringing cutting edge social technology platforms to universities, and has supported and joined dots for many initiatives across Kent, including WOW Magazine, Digibury, BarCamp Canterbury, Medway Open Studios and Art Festival, Rochester Literature Festival, and GEEK 2013 in Margate, to name but a few.

Carl believes that “If you want to come up with a few good ideas, or even one great one, then you have to generate lots of ideas”. Carl has failed more startup ventures than he’s succeeded, but he’s learned a lot and it’s always been with his own money, time and reputation on the line – he has never applied for funding.

As an agitator and agent of change with no agenda to protect, Carl is able to say things others will not, and see things others can’t see. He’s not always right, but by voicing the idea he provokes the debate, from which anything is possible.

For more information please visit

Chris Lamb at Kent Architecture Centre

Chris Lamb is the director of Kent Architecture Centre, an independent, not-for-profit organisation, based at Historic Dockyard Chatham. Kent Architecture Centre wants to help build a better built environment and provides opportunities for people of all ages to play a role in shaping their neighbourhoods, open spaces and the architecture that surrounds them.

Kent Architecture Centre was founded in 1994 by a number of local authorities, the Historic Dockyard Trust and the University of Greenwich with the purpose of raising the quality of the built environment during a period of investment and regeneration in north Kent. Its range was later extended throughout Kent and into East Sussex. Until the recession, Kent Architecture Centre received a lot of local authority commissions and public funding but is now partly self-funding, through a social enterprise model, and partly reliant upon grants.

The organisation enables local people to have a say in how new schools and community centres are designed, brings top national and international designers to north Kent, helps councillors and MPs understand the value of design, and offers independent design advice and assistance to residents, planning authorities and those responsible for creating the built environment across the south and south east of England. The temporary transformation of public spaces, through the Places from Spaces programme, left a legacy of better connections between universities and local authorities and many other new networks have been created as a result of the centre’s projects.

Kent Architecture Centre, with support from Arts Council England, Kent County Council and Medway Council, developed the Urban Fringe pilot research programme, which aimed to strengthen the role of artists and local people in “placemaking”. Placemaking is a way of planning, designing and managing public spaces by focusing on the local community, and four artists, Simon Barker, Nayan Kulkarni, Jo Roberts and Stephen Turner, engaged with residents in areas of Swale and Medway to help them capture and celebrate the uniqueness of the area through their work.

Collaborating with the University of Kent, the Crafts Council and Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent Architecture Centre developed a project called Placemaking, which encouraged artists and architects to share their skills and techniques and develop new ways of working together. The project ran for three days in March 2012 and took place within the dockyard.

Kent Architecture Centre, on behalf of Medway Council and Land Securities, put together a panel of placemaking professionals to oversee the 5,000-dwelling, mixed-use Lodge Hill development being built north of the River Medway. The panel will advise on the layout and design of architecture and public spaces as the project develops over the next 10 to 15 years.

For more information please visit

Simon Giles and Anne MacLaren at Creek Creative

Simon Giles and Anne MacLaren set up the Creek Creative Community Interest Company (CIC), which runs Creek Creative Studios, an art and design community hub spread over three floors in a former Victorian brewery near Faversham Creek. They formed the CIC in September 2008 after a two-year research period then set up the not-for-profit art centre in Abbey Street in July 2009, to support local artists and designer-makers by providing affordable facilities and a collaborative community.

Creek Creative Studios offers affordable artists’ studios and co-working desk spaces (currently accommodating about 40 artists), plus it provides project space, event facilities, one-off training workshops and weekly development courses. It also has public galleries that can be hired on a weekly basis for exhibitions by individual artists and designers or for group shows.

Exhibitions run for two weeks on average, and have included The Elements Open Exhibition – displaying works by more than 30 local artists; Works on Paper – a solo show of print by Peter Latham; and Fiery Visions – a joint show of paintings by Jacquie Gulliver Thompson and ceramics by Jo Pethybridge.

Workshops and courses are offered in a variety of media, including sculpture, photography, life drawing, ceramics and drama/vocal production to date.

The Gallery Kitchen Café within Creek Creative Studios offers fine teas, quality coffee, and delicious chef-made light lunches and cakes, alongside the shop, which sells original prints, fashion and jewellery items, and other designer-makers’ works.

In January 2012 Arts Council England approved funding to carry out conversion works on the lower ground floor to open up additional space. Since taking on No.1 Abbey Street, Simon and Anne have been assisted by a solid core of volunteers, supporters and local like-minds, to whom they continue to be very grateful for all the help and advice received.

For more information please visit

Louise Francis and Laura Knight at FrancisKnight

Louise Francis and Laura Knight, both trained visual arts practitioners with more than 25 years’ experience in the arts, are the creative directors behind FrancisKnight. Set up in 2004, FrancisKnight is an independent, grassroots business that collaborates with artists and organisations to produce public realm projects that inspire whole communities.

The contemporary arts practice produces, delivers and manages high quality, permanent and temporary, cross-art form projects that develop relationships, engage new audiences and showcase professional practice.

FrancisKnight has project-managed prestigious arts events including award-winning Chatham Vines by artist John Newling, who planted 32 pinot noir grape vines in the central aisle of disused St John’s Church. At night the church was lit from within and two cameras continuously streamed images of the project to a dedicated website. After a year the grapes were harvested and made into wine, which was used in the Easter Sunday Eucharist Service at Rochester Cathedral.

FrancisKnight were appointed by Kent Architecture Centre as the Creative Producers for Urban Fringe. Urban Fringe was a pilot project to deliver four creative commissions in the ‘fringes’ of Medway and Swale giving artists time and space to develop celebratory interventions that captured and explored the relationships between artists, place and communities – their values and customs.

FrancisKnight have recently curated Leydsown Rose-tinted, an arts led regeneration project for Swale Borough Council. Eleven permanent public realm commissions include a new rose garden, seating, signage and an innovative seaside lighting scheme for the coastal town on the Isle of Sheppey.

FrancisKnight is based in Maidstone and delivers projects in north Kent and across the southeast. For more information please visit

Päivi Seppälä and Gary Weston at Light Vessel 21

Päivi Seppälä is one of the creative practitioners behind Light Vessel 21, a floating arts, culture, heritage and performance venue moored at Gillingham Pier. Päivi, who also runs art consultancy business Poppana, set up LV21 Ltd with Medway filmmaker Gary Weston in 2009 to promote and support the creative community, across art forms, in the Medway area and beyond, while celebrating and honouring the maritime traditions of light vessel LV21. Through Poppana, Päivi has produced and project managed a range of high profile public art projects and delivered curatorial and consultancy services for private and public sector clients both nationally and internationally.

Gary is an independent filmmaker and multimedia content producer. Through his Medway based production company Spaghetti Weston he has produced films and digital content for broadcasters, councils, charities, bands and creative artists.

Päivi got involved with CPP to help boost arts and culture in Swale and Medway through collaborative working. She said: “We are passionate about putting Kent and Medway firmly on the creative map through supporting and contributing to the cultural sector development in the area. Our vision is to develop LV21 into a unique venue with an individual and distinct identity, one of north Kent’s prime platforms for cultural activities across diverse artistic disciplines.

“We feel that participation in the Creative People and Places consortium would ensure ongoing long-term collaboration and partnership working with diverse groups, organisations and individuals, both professional and voluntary, and enable LV21 to deliver an innovative mix of cultural projects that effect positive social change and help rejuvenate the area and improve wider access to and understanding of the arts across art forms.”

With help from local professionals and volunteers, Päivi and Gary hope to play their part in rejuvenating the Medway riverfront and endeavour to turn LV21 into an iconic landmark; a beacon attracting all sectors of the community, new visitors and businesses to the riverside, while providing memorable arts experiences for all. New facilities and services being rolled out as restoration work progresses range from contemporary art gallery and performance spaces to educational programmes, community activities and cultural events.

To emphasise LV21’s community-based cultural and heritage activity, LV21 ShipMates, a not-for-profit arm of the venture, has been established as a supporting body. Any individuals or organisations can volunteer to take part in the planning and delivery of activities aboard LV21 and there are currently more than 400 ShipMates plus a core team of 10 volunteers ranging from retired mariners and educators to professional marine engineers, artists and maritime enthusiasts.

Past projects have included Iron Gym – a University of Kent-led participatory public art project combining heritage sites and artefacts with sporting activities; a vintage coastal-themed souvenir shop, drop-in workshops for adults and children and nautical singing and music with the Seaside Sisters; and the spectacular Focal Point – a performance of aerial daredevilry and pyrotechnic explosions on board LV21 as the finale of the FUSE Medway Festival.

Built in 1963, Light Vessel 21 is a unique 40m steel-hulled lightship, the last of the renowned Philip and Son’s ships to be commissioned by Trinity House. A lightship is an anchored vessel equipped with a beacon light and foghorn to guide or warn other seafaring vessels in dangerous waters. LV21 saw most of her service off the Kent coast on the Varne, East Goodwin and Channel stations. She was retired from service in 2008 and restoration works are on-going.

For more information please visit