The MCEP Steering Group oversees the development of a partnership approach to ensuring that all children and young people in Medway experience a high quality cultural education.

The partnership has already achieved some success, securing investment from Royal Opera House Bridge and Medway Council to develop a strategic plan and delivery model for the Medway area, including delivery of an enlightening transition pilot project and collaborating with  the Isle of Sheppey Cultural Education Partnership on a successful major bid to the DCMS that established the Theatre 31 programme.

The steering group continue to seek opportunities to fundraise to support the ongoing work of MCEP and specific projects.

Key beneficiaries  

There are three key groups of interlinked beneficiaries of MCEP’s work

  •  Under-served young people in Medway aged 0-25
  • Teachers and schools in Medway, being delivered through Medway Creative Schools Network (MCSN)
  • Cultural and creative organisations and practitioners in Medway

MCEP’s key role

The most important elements of MCEP’s role are:   

  • A local connector, supporter and broker of relationships between young people and the education and cultural sectors in Medway and making better use of the partnership’s individual and collective resources and Medway’s cultural assets.
  •          An agent for change – helping to ensure there is greater equity in young people’s access to cultural education opportunities in Medway
  • As a researcher and innovator – identifying gaps in existing provision and finding creative ways to address them.
  • Over time, as the evidence base of MCEP’s work grows, as an awareness builder and advocate for the value of cultural education work in the development of children and people in Medway.

MCEP is a Local Cultural Education Partnership, originally formed in 2015 with the support of the Royal Opera House Bridge. It aspires to bring together all those with an interest in working to improve the lives of all children and young people in Medway through arts and culture.

The establishment of Local Cultural Education Partnerships is an initiative of Arts Council England that encourages stakeholders in the cultural education of young people within a particular area to collaborate, share resources and thinking, and to build stronger strategic relationships.   

Our Mission

“We create better collaborations between the cultural, education and youth sectors in Medway to increase the creativity, learning and life chances for more of our children and young people”.

Our Vision

”An inspirational, high quality cultural education is available to all children and young people in Medway”

Implicit in the wording of both mission and vision statements is the recognition that not all children and young people in Medway have equal access to the creative and cultural opportunities available locally.  The partnership will therefore prioritise the needs of under-served young people in Medway and, as a first step, conduct research to map the existing local cultural offer and identify the places in Medway which need more targeted provision.


    Chatham Historic Dockyard

    Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is an independent charitable trust responsible for the Historic Dockyard Chatham an 80-acre historic site, now the world’s most complete dockyard of the age of sail. Learning sits at the heart of the Trust’s charitable purposes and The Historic Dockyard Chatham is also an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) with a specific remit to engage lifelong learning within the museum sector in Kent.


    Dynamics – The Medway Music Education Hub CIC provides wide-ranging, diverse and high quality musical opportunities for children and young people throughout Medway

    Icon Theatre

    Icon Theatre aims to transform lives and strengthen communities, by supporting people to make and experience world class theatre and participatory arts

    Medway Council

    Medway Council is pleased to be part of the Medway LCEP and take an active part in engaging young people with the arts and creative activity. The benefits of cultural activity have many facets and we believe that encouraging young people can create life-changing moments that can really make a difference

    A group of young people ages 15-25, with smiling and laughing faces. Sitting on a big green chair that says Gulbenkian on it.

    iCCi, University of Kent

    The Institute of Cultural & Creative Industries (iCCi) at the University of Kent brings together artists, academics and the local community to drive forward creativity in the region. As an Arts Council NPO, iCCi delivers an ambitious and varied public arts programme across its venues and festivals, as well as the industry leading and youth-centred ART31 initiative, delivering transformative creative experiences for children and young people across Kent and Medway.

    Luton Primary School

    Luton Primary School has been judged to be a centre of excellence for inclusion and is committed to ensuring all our pupils are given the best possible start to their education journey. We recognise the importance of building a foundation to their cultural capital. We are proud to be one of the few Primary schools in Medway to have an Artist on our staff and we ensure every child from Year R to Year 6 have access to and take part in high quality art activities every week. We have a room dedicated to Art showing the importance we give this subject at Luton Primary. We are also very proud to have achieved the Silver Artsmark award.

    Ideas Test

    Ideas Test is an arts charity working in Medway & Swale since 2012 and is one of Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme's National Portfolio. Our mission is to enable communities who would not normally have access to arts activities to live more creative lives.

    Square Pegs Arts

    Square Pegs Arts are an award-winning Disabled-led Arts Charity who offer high quality, innovative Theatre, Music & Arts projects and opportunities for learning disabled, neurodivergent and autistic children, young people and adults. We are based in Chatham and have been delivering community, partnership and professional projects across Kent and Medway since 2005. We celebrate difference, value diversity and support Disabled people to succeed, thrive and have a voice.

    Medway Youth Services

    Medway Youth Service works with young people 8–19 years old (25 for those with a disability) offering somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to in their leisure time. Youth Service activities are co-created with young people, involving them in planning and developing projects that support them to tackle issues that concern them. We aim to reduce barriers that might prevent young people in engaging in our service and will always attempt to find ways to include young people regardless of their confidence, background or ability.

    Thinking Schools Academy Trust

    The Thinking Schools Academy Trust, comprised of 19 infant, junior, primary and secondary academies, operates across three regional hubs in the South, Southwest and Southeast of England. TSAT believes that every young person in our community deserves to have the best opportunities in life, regardless of their individual circumstances. Our commitment to supporting young people in the Medway area and our belief in building their cultural capital and awareness through engagement with local arts, museums and heritage partners is deeply embedded amongst our schools and we are incredibly proud of this.

    Lyrici Arts

    Lyrici Arts is a Black led arts organisation creating theatre & arts programmes that amplify Black & diverse stories, established to benefit the residents of Medway, Kent. Our vision is to bring change to Medway & champion difference, so that it is a place where Black-led arts are flourishing with every resident able to embrace & feel empowered by culture.

    Child Friendly Medway

    Child-Friendly Medway launched in April 2021 as a platform for children and young people’s voices to be heard and responded to. Our aim is to make Medway one of the best places in the country to grow up. A place where children and young people's voices are recognised and they feel safe, valued, and included. Providing the best start in life and helping children and young people to aim high and reach their goals and have hopes and dreams for their future. Our Seeing is Believing programme is universal for all children and young people in Medway, and the target audience is from expectant parents through to young adults up to 25. Working with partners to be as inclusive as possible so SEND and disadvantaged children and young people have more opportunities to help narrow the gap.