MCEP is a Cultural Education Partnership formed with the support of the Royal Opera House Bridge as part of Arts Councils England’s Cultural Education Challenge. 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 partnership aims to organise people and resources to deliver a Medway vision of:
The MCEP oversee the development of a partnership approach to ensuring that all children in Medway experience a positive transition from primary to secondary school rooted in shared arts and cultural experiences.
The partnership has secured investment from Royal Opera House Bridge and Medway Council to develop a strategic plan and delivery model for the Medway area. The MCEP, in partnership with the Isle of Sheppey Cultural Education Partnership, has also been awarded Arts Council England’s Youth Performance Partnership Fund for Theatre 31, one of only five nationally.
Medway is one of the largest conurbation in the South East, outside London, with a population of around 280,000 which is projected to grow. This has been a place of significance for thousands of years because of its strategic location as a crossing point on the River Medway; Rochester Castle, Rochester Cathedral and Chatham Dockyard were built for that very reason.
The towns making up Medway are Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham, Strood and Rainham. Large parts of the area are green and rural with a number of parks, seven of which are green flag accredited and Medway is part of the environmentally important North Kent Marshes on the extensive Hoo Peninsula to the north.
Medway has a diverse and rapidly growing business base with a focus on high value technology, engineering, manufacturing, cultural and creative, knowledge intensive companies. Innovation is at the heart of Medway’s future and is being supported by state-of-the-art facilities across the area linked to the universities, all helping start-up businesses.
With superb connections to London and Europe, Medway is part of the Thames Gateway and home to the University of Greenwich, University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University and the University for the Creative Arts. This is a young and vibrant community that is destined for big things.
Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEP) were launched by Arts Council England in October 2015 to help meet the Cultural Education Challenge.
LCEPs are innovative partnerships between cultural providers, educational institutions and local authorities that aim to join-up and improve cultural education provision for children and young people in their town, city, county or region.
Cultural Education Partnerships are flexible and are able respond to local needs and circumstances. To be effective, they should comprise as wide a range as possible of arts, cultural and heritage providers, music education hubs, schools, and higher education institutions, local authorities – and employers. They take the long view, planning for the future and seeking to make sustainable change in their communities.
Royal Opera House Bridge, as the Bridge organisation for North Kent, supports the development of LCEPs in this region.