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.