Key Partners

Friday 21st May 2021 to
Saturday 12th June 2021

Key Partners

Estuary 2021 is delivered through a partnership between two Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations, Metal, based in South Essex and Cement Fields, based in North Kent.

This partnership builds on the first edition of Estuary in 2016 which was developed by Metal and funded through an Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence grant.

Metal was founded by Jude Kelly CBE in 2002 working with current Artistic Director and CEO, Colette Bailey since its inception.  Metal provides innovative, multi-disciplinary residencies and development opportunities for artists from the UK and overseas, from spaces in Southend on Sea, Liverpool and Peterborough.  Interested in how artistic process, and the practice of artists can input into, and influence social, economic and political issues of the day, Metal works with artists, educators, communities, individuals, businesses and agencies across all sectors to create a wide range of activities and projects that include residencies, exhibitions, commissions, festivals, performance, talks, workshops and  publications. Estuary 2021 is delivered from Metal’s Southend site and team.  Metal is supported using public funds by Arts Council England, Southend on Sea Borough Council and many other partners.

Cement Fields is a distinctive visual art organisation based in North Kent, working collaboratively with artists and communities to create pioneering new art along the Thames Estuary, from Dartford to Whitstable.  They believe artists are essential to social and cultural life, with programme that often has an emphasis on supporting the practice of early-career artists. Working with partners, their projects invite people and communities to collaborate with artists to encounter, research, make, and exchange views on contemporary art. We also broaden access to art by creating learning opportunities for young people to develop imagination, skills and find meaningful pathways into creative careers. Cement Fields has grown out of Whitstable Biennale, a visual art festival founded in 2002 with an international reputation for developing experimental new work, often giving artists their first commission, and attracting over 70,000 visitors to each edition.  Cement Fields is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and the University of Kent.

Principal Partners

Estuary 2021 is one of seven major projects supported through Creative Estuary, a three-year programme supported by The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) through one of five Cultural Development Fund grants awarded in 2019.  It is led by a consortium of public sector and cultural organisations. They include the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Kent and Essex County Councils, the Greater London Authority, 11 local authority areas represented by Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and Opportunity South Essex, South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN), University of Kent, University of Essex, Locate in Kent and cultural organisations Metal and Cement Fields.  The fund is overseen and managed by Arts Council England. 

With enormous thanks and gratitude to all the many communities, local authority, regional agency, arts and programme partners listed below.


Friday 21st May 2021 to
Saturday 12th June 2021


South Essex & North Kent

Previous Port and Seaside Towns
The Water Replies - Journals

Estuary 2021 is made possible by

Principal Partners

Creative_Estuary_New_1   ace

Major Partners

ecc uok thurrock thames_gateway selep medway  thames estuary   ebbsfleet    Ebbsfleet mayor locatekent kentcc gravesham uoe bas_coun   south_coun Here for Culture

Commissioning Partners

book_fest community_fund heritage_fund creative_coast bexleysalford fpg lesnes Essex2020Logo The Old Waterworks Logo UCA1

Festival Partners

arts_human uni_south uni_oxford uni_glas send_pier pla opp_se henley Flowers Gallery logoc2c roh southeastern Thamesmead2 Peabody2 BowArts3 raddison uber arriva Canterbury Dartford Faversham Swale1 Thanet Visit c2c1 Chat

Festival Supporters

essex_diversity SouthEssex1 UniversityCentre1 Churches International Exeter Wales Ramm Artist Grand