Sea and river meeting the land
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What's here

At the mouth of the Thames — one of the world’s most famous rivers — lies Creative Estuary. 60 miles of coast and country reach east of London, from Purfleet to Southend in Essex and from Dartford to Margate in Kent. Our towns and communities across both counties include Basildon, Canterbury, Gravesham and Medway.

The Estuary has many key advantages:

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Leading cultural organisations have invested in the Estuary, from the Royal Opera House to Turner Contemporary.

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Universities including University of Essex, University of Kent, and the University for the Creative Arts are the source of many talented graduates.

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Further Education colleges are providing relevant vocational training for students and offering degree-level qualifications.

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Existing networks of creative businesses including in design, gaming, fashion, filmmaking and music production, are making a significant and growing contribution to the Estuary’s economy.

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A local pool of talented creative people, many freelancing and collaborating across disciplines and media – from gaming to films, from fashion to music.

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Opportunities to collaborate and grow with cost effective workspaces and co-working hubs, close to town, country and coastal communities.

Creative Estuary pattern 1 grid in green

Good connectivity to the capital and international markets: fast rail connections to London and to the Continent via Ebbsfleet and Ashford International, plus air connections from London Southend Airport to European destinations.

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Inspiring open spaces and heritage, from Chatham Historic Dockyard to Rainham Marshes nature reserve. The Estuary has a long history of maritime legend, ancient settlements, diverse communities, fascinating stories and rich wildlife.

Thames Estuary mapThames Estuary map


Creative and cultural production businesses supporting over 46,000 jobs across the Estuary


Investment in large scale production facilities across the Estuary over the past decade


Increase in the number of production businesses across the Estuary over the past five years


Higher and Further Education Institutions across the Estuary. Many of these specialise in creative industries


Projected number of jobs delivered by the Thames Estuary Production Corridor (by 2050) — creating the UK’s largest concentration of creative production activity


Projected additional GVA per annum which could be delivered by the Thames Estuary Production Corridor — enhancing UK productivity and local prosperity

Thames Estuary in numbers

The vital stats

These define the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. Creative Estuary forms part of the Corridor and covers North Kent and South Essex.

650 square miles

The Estuary landscape is shaped by land and water, with industry, local communities and open spaces creating a unique coastal environment.

1.7 million people

Across South Essex and North Kent the resident population is growing.