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Agency for Creative Production (ACP) is a new social enterprise which has been launched to support young people in South Essex to develop their skills in live event production. ACP will facilitate enrichment opportunities for young people to build their skills in live events through direct, hands-on industry experience, with the ambition of establishing Southend, South Essex and the estuary region as a national source of creative talent.

On 20 August, the first cohort of young people presented their own event WYRD ESSEX at Chalkwell Hall. The event included a daytime market and evening performances with local bands, which was organised entirely by the young people. Current resident artist at Metal, Charlotte Hamilton of Sugar Storm Studio also contributed to the day with screen printing workshops.


Agency for Creative Production young producers aged 16-25 worked together to produce WYRD ESSEX event on 20 August 2022 at Chalkwell Hall, Image credit: Hayley Scott. From left to right: Jess, Tom, Tash, Ellie, Charlie, Ruby, Farah, Ella, Kate.

One of the young people said of their experience with ACP: “I really enjoyed this project and I hope others do in future. The highlight of the course for me was having an important role and responsibility as well as performing in the event itself.”

Watch the new short video introducing ACP:

ACP is all about putting production into practice and working with learning providers and creative businesses to offer real life opportunities that genuinely support future employability possibilities for young people. ACP has the potential to expand and diversify the live events sector through this pioneering programme with a strong social purpose. 

The idea grew from our team at Metal Southend who have been part of the development and growth of Village Green and Village Green: Next Generation, for over 10 years. The stand-alone social enterprise will be an important legacy for the festival, ensuring its core values of supporting local young people into creative careers will be sustained into the future whilst initiating an exciting range of future new community events led by young people. 

ACP has received vital investment to kickstart the agency from Creative Estuary through its Re:Generation 2031 programme,  whose aims are to develop the next generation of cultural and creative leaders, by cultivating sector-led skills-focused opportunities in North Kent and South Essex. Creative Estuary has been piloting a number of approaches/initiatives to test models and are excited by the opportunity that working with Metal offers.

ACP’s long-term vision is to expand live events across the region by creating the next generation of skilled, trained events professionals, as well as providing opportunities for existing events professionals to upskill and gain specialist qualifications. 

The first pilot programme was a huge success. 10 local young people came together and devised WYRD ESSEX, a ‘subcultural’ market and live music event with support from the  Metal team and guest artists. Taking place at Chalkwell Hall, WYRD ESSEX was entirely curated by the young people and consisted of a daytime market with local artists and makers, followed by a gig spotlighting 4 local musicians/bands night.

https://www.uspcollege.ac.uk/courses-apprenticeships/our-courses/our-adult-courses/creative-enterprise-level-4-professional-diploma/ Launching this September ACP will be collaborating with USP College on an exciting one year course – UAL Creative Enterprise Level 4 Professional Diploma. This partnership will enable students to gain hands-on creative experience to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue a career in the creative industries. Students will develop work in ‘residence’ at Chalkwell Hall, as well as at USP’s creative arts studios at the Seevic Campus. During the course students will develop their own creative practice with guidance  from professionals involved in a diverse range of creative careers. 

The qualification will provide students with an opportunity to cultivate their employability by developing creative enterprise skills, and making creative connections whilst developing start-up projects and professional practice.

https://www.uspcollege.ac.uk/courses-apprenticeships/our-courses/our-adult-courses/creative-enterprise-level-4-professional-diploma/


WYRD Essex poster announcement artwork by Tom and Farah

New social enterprise launches with WYRD ESSEX event produced by 10 local young people