Creative Estuary brand architectural pattern 10

Creative Estuary is seeking a lead organisation to deliver a co-commission in Grays, Essex

What is the co-commission for?

At the heart of the co-commission is the desire to generate opportunities for creative practitioners living in South Essex. In addition, the co-commission should benefit the lead organisation, for example:

  • Broker new partnerships (between cultural and community organisations and businesses)
  • Explore new ways of working (innovation, technology)
  • Increase ambition and scale
  • Find new audiences
  • Deliver in alternative places and spaces (public realm, heritage sites, meanwhile use)


What do we mean by a co-commission?

Examples could be: several new commissions sited along a high street / a collective exhibition / a performance that could travel between venues / a festival of programmed activity. Whilst we are commissioning a lead organisation, we are looking for an activity that promotes collectivism and enables and strengthens creative practitioners to produce new work and make new connections. We anticipate that the outputs should be free to access for the public. You can see examples of previous Creative Estuary co-commissions here.


What is a creative practitioner?

Creative practitioners include artists, makers, producers and curators working across the creative industries.


The lead organisation

It is expected that the lead organisation has experience working with the creative industries. They will be responsible for all commission delivery and all matters relating to securing necessary insurance, permissions and licensing, contracts and agreements. The lead organisation can be based in Thurrock or have a connection to the area.


What is the investment?

We are offering up to £20,000 towards the delivery of the co-commission. This is inclusive of VAT. It is anticipated that a minimum of 70% of the total funding will reach creative practitioners. We anticipate organisations will seek additional cash and in-kind funding.


What is the timescale?

  • Application deadline – 7th December 2022
  • Interviews – w/c 12th December 2022
  • Appointment – January 2023
  • Delivery – Spring 2023


How to apply

Please set your response to this invitation on no more than four pages A4, including images and weblinks if useful. We want to hear about your exciting ideas and ambitions and how you will work with creative practitioners to deliver a co-commission. Your proposal should tell us about the following:

  • what you’d like to do
  • how your project will involve and support creative practitioners
  • who will benefit from your project and how audiences might engage
  • what difference the co-commission will make to your organisation, and what will the impact be on your work
  • how this supports your longer-term ambitions
  • where your project will take place
  • your connections to Grays and Thurrock
  • how your project fits our ambitions for the Creative Estuary Co-commissions
  • an indication of match funding and support
  • your experience delivering a project like this


Criteria for selection

  1. How clear your plans are to engage with and support creative practitioners
  2. Evidence of how the co-commission will impact your organisation and its longer-term ambitions
  3. How clearly you have demonstrated that this is new work and that it responds to this particular brief
  4. How realistic and achievable is the co-commission in terms of delivery and budget



The successful lead organisation will be selected by a panel comprising members of the Co-commissioning advisory group (made up of curators, commissioners and producers with expertise across a range of art forms, including dance, performance, live art, music, film and visual arts), the Creative Estuary Project Director and a representative of Thurrock Council.

Deadline Responses to this invitation should be emailed to Catherine Byrne, Creative Estuary Project Officer, no later than noon on 7th December 2022. If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Catherine Byrne at the email above.

Read the commission here.

MOONSEED by the MOONSEED Collective, a Creative Estuary Co-commissioned with Electric Medway 2021