The Culture Kent project is being led by a pathfinder group made up of the following organisations who are providing financial investment, hands-on support and acting as advocates for the project:

Turner Contemporary (Lead organisation)
Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has fast become one of the UK’s leading art galleries, and a key attraction in Kent. We’ve welcomed over 1.5 million visits in 4 years and contributed over £40 million into the local economy through tourism and inward investment.

We’re committed to our role as the lead organisation delivering the Culture Kent project funded by Cultural Destinations, and our role of Pathfinder has become integral to our work.

As a cultural organisation and tourist attraction, we’re hugely interested in the potential for Culture Kent; knowledge sharing across the two sectors to fill evident gaps, audience development, repositioning the brand of Kent as the creative county outside of London, researching cultural tourists and developing pilots and campaigns to convert tourists to cultural tourists, facilitating hub and spoke relationship building and partnership working.

We’re excited to be building on our existing partnerships, but also building important, long-lasting new ones, with large, medium and small organisations, and taking our role as leader further.

The value of Culture Kent is great, and we’re committed to ensuring that the project has a lasting legacy, finding new and innovative ways to bring culture and tourism ever closer together.

Visit Kent (Lead partner)
Our membership of the CKP group and involvement in the project has evolved from an on-going discussion on marketing, audience development and data sharing that has been in progress for several years within Kent’s cultural sector.

We were keen to be involved due to the gap that exists in the sector for a main point of information on Kent’s cultural events and happenings, that can automatically and dynamically draw on existing data without duplicating or adding effort for cultural providers.

We hope the partnership will showcase Kent’s cultural assets and create a single data source that can be used as the basis for a variety of digital platforms.

This should not only showcase Kent’s cultural assets to the broadest audience possible but promote the county as a cultural destination for residents and local, national and international visitors. It should show visitors what is on offer and encourage them to stay for longer. We also hope it will ensure people are aware of what’s going on in every part of the county, wherever they are; extending the reach of Kent’s cultural offering by attracting new audiences as well as first time and accidental attenders.

Arts Council England

Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is excited to be a fellow Pathfinder in a project which brings together a number of committed partners keen to connect new audiences with quality events and activities across Kent. As promoters, producers and providers of arts and culture across the county we are keen to explore innovative and engaging ways in which digital media can help surface events and activities to a wider public.

We hope this project will improve our collective understanding of how audiences access cultural information as well as understanding potential barriers to their participation. We intend to use this knowledge to create an online portal, easily accessible to local Kent residents and audiences from further afield, which will stimulate interest in visiting, experiencing and sharing the rich variety of cultural activity the county has to offer.

The partnership working has already achieved much in bringing the pathfinders together and helping us combine and align our individual resources to provide a richer and more comprehensive digital listing/magazine which we look forward to launching later this year.

Canterbury City Council

Chatham Historic Dockyards
The Historic Dockyard Chatham is the world’s most complete Dockyard of the Age of Sail. For over 400 years the Royal Dockyard at Chatham played a crucial role in supporting the Royal Navy by building, repairing and refitting the country’s most important warships including HMS Victory, Nelson’s Flagship at Trafalgar. Since the dockyard’s closure in 1984 the site has been in the care of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust (CHDT), an independent charity, whose strategy of ‘preservation through reuse’ has developed The Historic Dockyard into a world-class maritime heritage and cultural visitor destination with iconic buildings, museum galleries and historic warships visited by c.175,000 paying visitors per year. CHDT has established partnerships with a number of organisations including two national museums (Royal Museums Greenwich and Imperial War Museums) who have shared collection storage on site. Today people both live and work within The Historic Dockyard with over 100 businesses and organisations based on site including the University of Kent (School of Fine Art and Music) and many other creative industries.

The partnerships that have been forged within The Culture Kent initiative have allowed The Historic Dockyard to develop its cultural offer even further and thus promote itself as a cultural destination, as well as a maritime heritage destination.

Creative Foundation
The Creative Foundation is a visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders we transform the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study. The Creative Foundation believes that everyone is creative, and that creativity has the power to change people and places for the better. With this passion for creativity at its heart, the Foundation enables people’s creativity to flourish, enriching the town and those who live in or visit it and so transform Folkestone’s reputation.

Established in 2002, the Creative Foundation has a remarkable record of success having already transformed the most run down part of Folkestone. Ninety buildings have been restored in the Creative Quarter, and Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy has been built. The area has been animated by three internationally acclaimed visual art Triennials, a collection of significant and permanent contemporary public art, a full performance programme and an annual book festival. The area is populated by artists and home to creative industries and is home to higher education study and research; all this has created 300 jobs.

In 2014, we delivered a pilot for Cultural Destinations, as part of our Folkestone Triennial programme that sought to encourage more national and international visitors to Folkestone in autumn 2014. We worked with local hotels, train and ferry operators as well as other regional arts, heritage organisations and visitor attractions to promote Folkestone Triennial and the town. As a consequence we are now committed in continuing developing and strengthening these strategic partnerships and contributing, as a Culture Kent pathfinder, towards regional agendas and initiatives that strengthen the relationship between arts and the tourism industry.

Gulbenkian is the University of Kent’s Arts Centre offering innovative, engaging and high quality arts activity for the public, staff and students. It provides a key role in delivering the University commitment to public engagement and has a particular focus on the creative empowerment of children and young people.

In April 2015 we became an Arts Council of England National Portfolio Organisation in recognition of our developing role as a pioneer in the creative empowerment and engagement of children and young people. We see partnership working as essential if we are to achieve our goals and Culture Kent as a key driver to bring together cultural, heritage and wider tourism partnerships across Kent.

Kent County Council
We are committed to being a Pathfinder because we understand that the project will deliver outcomes that will meet an identified business need of the arts and cultural sector in Kent to deliver greater opportunities for economic impact by:

  • Reaching new visitors and audiences
  • Encouraging existing visitors and audiences to attend additional activity
  • Encouraging understanding and knowledge between culture and tourism sectors that will inform the development of approaches and product

We are pleased that the pilot is focusing on an information and data infrastructure which has the potential to facilitate the pooling of information and knowledge and enable its free flow between the culture and tourism sectors and audiences.

As well as the value of the project in developing a common approach to listings, data and informHere at ation sharing we hope to work with partners to develop the project to have a particular emphasis on free access to data to encourage widest possible use and the subsequent exploration of a range of digital media to enable a variety of users to engage.

Maidstone Borough Council
Maidstone Borough Council is pleased to be a pathfinder for the Culture Kent Project as this presents an exciting opportunity to engage a broader group than those we have traditionally reached in a more dynamic, responsive way without duplicating what is already being done.

The Culture Kent Project should deliver a new approach to reaching a wider range of new and existing visitors and audiences and a higher profile and awareness of Kent’s cultural assets and activities for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.

The Marlowe Theatre
Here at The Marlowe Theatre, we are always looking for new ways to attract first-time attenders to our productions and events. It is always important to remember that there are significant numbers of people who do not feel that the arts are for them and would not think of looking at the websites of cultural organisations to find out what is going on. Sometimes these barriers to attendance can be to do with the language that the sector uses to describe itself, making it seem to the potential first-time attender that a special knowledge is required to experience an event.

The CKP project will allow those first-time audiences to find all of our events through a different route, where no previous interest or knowledge is assumed. As a group, we have already had some fascinating debates about how we get the language and brand personality of the pilot website correct, making sure that we attract those people who may not currently attend arts events. The site will, of course, also be hugely useful to people who do already enjoy the region’s cultural activities.

We want the project to promote, all in one easily accessible place, the wealth and range of activities that our region offers in terms of arts events, to both visitors and the people that live here.

And working partners:

DAD (Dover Arts Development)

Whitstable Bienniale

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