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Culture and Medway

Medway has always been a centre of creativity with its historic docks, castles and green expanses. Not forgetting its numerous galleries, museums, universities, theatres and community hubs too.

Medway is home to makers and creators, film sets and festivals, spaces and studios. The people living, working and learning in Medway, and our growing visitor numbers, all contribute to this evolving cultural landscape.

Getting the cultural offer right is essential to making Medway a great place to live, work, learn and visit. Culture can be the societal glue that connects people and communities. It can help in defining a sense of place, contributing to health and wellbeing, education and regeneration, and supporting sustainable and resilient economic growth.

Strategy vision

Medway’s Cultural Strategy is a bold new vision that speaks to Medway’s broadest aspirations to put culture centre stage. This 10-year Medway-wide partnership strategy is a shared ambition for the future. Built on extensive engagement across Medway, it demonstrates the importance of culture to Medway’s future, enabling everyone to have the opportunity to take part in and contribute to cultural life.

It puts artists, makers, storytellers and cultural influencers at its centre as the agents of change.

The new strategy is a ground-breaking model which creates a new way of partnership working. It seeks to shape opinions and behaviours leading to social and economic benefits while positively transforming Medway in the long-term.

By 2030, Medway will be internationally recognised for its culture and creativity, demonstrating its positive impact on everyone’s lives.

Diverse, collaborative and engaged, we will celebrate the strength and creativity of all our residents, inspiring a new generation of creatives and makers.

Strategy themes

The themes of the strategy shape where change must happen to deliver the vision.

They are essential elements around which the strategy is built, providing structure, support and boundaries.

The themes include:

  • Connectivity: how we connect and communicate with others is vital. Connectivity enables a longer reach and a more inclusive approach, encouraging reciprocity and trust within communities
  • Shared Ambition: our activity must optimise impact and be inclusive, and our focus must be on the delivery of the vision and the associated collective benefit
  • Spaces and Places: within Medway we must develop locations for creative practice to take place, making them accessible and ensuring their benefits for the community and sustainability
  • Creative People: a holistic, ‘grass roots up’ approach to nurturing talent and a healthy creative ecology where all the elements are supported. At the same time understanding that the big, brave, and bold events and culture interventions can attract investment, raising the profile and reputation of Medway culture
  • Community Engagement: unlocking the collective potential of Medway through our commitment to ‘culture for all’ by reaching as many people as possible, creating a diverse range of cultural engagement and participation opportunities.

Delivering the strategy

The delivery of this strategy will be led by Creative Medway, a new and radical partnership that embodies the values of the strategy, driving ambition and the overall performance delivery of the strategy itself.

Creative Medway is made up of 3 parts:

  • compact
  • working groups
  • congress.

Compact

Creative Medway Compact is at the core of the delivery mechanism. The group is responsible for driving the strategic ambition and the overall performance delivery of the strategy. 

It will be a strong advocate for Medway’s culture at a local, regional and national level.

Working groups

Creative Medway Working Groups each have a membership made up of experts to develop and deliver on the work strands for each theme of the strategy.

Each group will have clear terms of reference and code of contact.

Congress

Creative Medway Congress is a broad group open to all interested in culture in Medway and where culture can be the tool to support wider Medway objectives.

In addition to receiving information and invitations to activities, it meets annually to review, reflect and plan.