What We Do

The Creative Colchester Partnership brings together leaders from across the cultural, creative and digital sectors, including the major arts organisations and business representatives, to work collaboratively to promote and support the sector. The Partnership’s aims are:

  • To provide visible leadership for the cultural, creative and digital sector in Colchester
  • To act as a channel for communication and positive engagement between the sector and key partners, including Colchester Borough Council, Essex County Council, SELEP, Arts Council England and others.
  • To promote, share, consult, signpost and support the sector, building the reputation of Colchester as a creative hub and developing a sustainable platform for communication across the sector.
  • To review strategic initiatives, policy and projects by key partners and to make strategic recommendations how culture, creativity and digital innovation can be maximised through project planning and delivery.
  • To make recommendations for new projects and initiatives which would stimulate development of the sector in Colchester, for delivery through and by key partners and organisations active in the borough.
  • To advocate for the sector’s importance as a major contributor to the community and economic development of the borough.
  • To ensure that the developments which support and enhance the creative and digital economy and its potential within the borough are encouraged and delivered.

This website is a platform for the creative, cultural and digital sector to promote, share, and signpost opportunities and a directory of locally based businesses, freelancers and organisations.

Colchester is home to a thriving and expanding creative, cultural and digital sector, including over 3,500 businesses and anchored by four Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations – Firstsite, awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2021, the Mercury Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre, and the Colchester + Ipswich Museums service.

Colchester is recognised nationally as a hub for creativity: by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) as a Creative, Cultural and Digital Hub for North Essex, by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) as a creative cluster as well as being recognised in the government’s Industrial Strategy Sector Deal for the Creative Industries.

The Creative Colchester Partnership is led by a board which meets on a quarterly basis. Board membership includes the following core representatives:

  • Representatives from all four National Portfolio Organisations in the borough
  • Representation from the University of Essex and Colchester Institute

Further board members (up to maximum of 15 board members in total) are selected to represent the sector as a whole, with a diversity of experience, age, background and outlook. New members are sought through an open application process annually with applications invited in June for new board members to be in place for the September board meeting. New board members are selected by existing board members on a consensus basis.

All board members (including the chair)  serve a maximum term of four years.

Representatives from Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council (including officers and lead members/portfolio holders), Arts Council England, and other key partners are invited to attend board meetings as observers and to contribute to discussion when appropriate but hold no decision-making role with the Partnership.

New board members wanted!


We are on the lookout for new board members! To support our continuous evolution and rising ambitions, Creative Colchester is looking to add new faces and ideas to the board.
This is something that we are committed to doing each year, to ensure we can maintain momentum and keep a fresh outlook on the sector.

We are an inclusive organisation looking for a diversity of experiences, skills, and backgrounds to broaden the board’s insights and perspectives. We are looking for board members who can represent businesses and individuals in the creative, cultural, and digital sectors, not representatives from a specific organisation.

It is an exciting time to be part of supporting our creative and digital sector and highlighting the importance of what we bring to our community. As a board member, you will be committing to:
– Quarterly board meetings
– Participation in working groups to support new projects and programmes
– Potentially being the board lead for specific areas or initiatives that match your
– Attending events as a representative of the board

– Actively engaging with Creative Colchester activities and promoting to your

As a board member you must be passionate about helping to shape our input to strategic projects around the borough, act as a sounding board, increase our visibility and advocacy, and help to deliver projects and initiatives of Creative Colchester itself. Your board membership will run for 3 years, with a maximum of 2 terms. You can choose to step down at any time but would need to give 6 months’ notice.

If you are interested in joining the board, please email us at hello@creativecolchester.org.uk by Thursday 6th June to let us know, with the following information:

– A bit about yourself and your background
– Why you would like to join the board and what you feel you would offer