High House Production Park

Contract awarded to create new vision for High House Production Park

New vision for High House Production Park for the next 10 years

Plans to forge a new and refreshed vision and business plan for High House Production Park (HHPP) are underway. Leading UK cultural consultancy Counterculture Partnership LLP and Turner Prize winning Assemble were appointed last month following a competitive tender.

The work, which is a key part of the Creative Estuary programme, aims to refresh the vision, masterplan and business plan for the HHPP site and support the board in its vision and objectives.

Alex Beard, Chair of HHPP and Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “HHPP is a centre of excellence for creative production and skills training. This contract will build on the successes of the last 10 years with the aim of securing the long-term viability of the park as a sustainable world-class centre for cultural production in the Thames Estuary.

“We want to provide affordable, creative workspaces and build a dedicated community of creative entrepreneurs on the site. The refreshed vision and masterplan will enable us to do just that and I’m delighted to welcome Counterculture Partnership LLP and Assemble Design Ltd on board.”

Emma Wilcox, Project Director for Creative Estuary said: “This is such an important project, not only for HHPP, a flagship site in the estuary, but for the whole region, continuing to develop and deliver the ambitious Creative Estuary vision. Our investment will underpin the ambitions of the HHPP Trust in partnership with Thurrock Council. We are delighted with the appointment of this talented team, Counterculture and Assemble, who will set the scene for the next 10 years of this iconic creative production site in the Thames Estuary and ensuring it can meet the needs of our growing sector.”

Jo Wright, Partner, Vice Chair and Head of Economic Development & Public Policy at Counterculture Partnership LLP, said: “Counterculture and Assemble share a passion and track record for developing high quality creative and cultural infrastructure across the UK and overseas. We are delighted to have been appointed to undertake this exciting and important piece of work to help shape the future of HHPP.

“We look forward to working with the HHPP board, tenants, Thurrock Council, Creative Estuary and other key stakeholders to develop an ambitious long-term vision and evidence-based strategy that ensures its place as a sustainable, world-class site for cultural production in the heart of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.”

HHPP will lead the project, supported through the investment and expertise of Creative Estuary, Thurrock Council and other key stakeholders.




Notes to editors

High House Production Park

High House Production Park (HHPP) is a world class centre of excellence for creative production and skills training. A collaboration between the Royal Opera House, Creative and Cultural Skills, Arts Council England, Government and Thurrock Council, the 14acre site is a campus for creative and cultural industries next to the M25 and at the heart of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. HHPP is a charity overseen by a Board of Trustees chaired by the CEO of the Royal Opera House. Thurrock Council are trustees and are commissioned by the charity to provide day-to-day management of the site.

Creative Estuary

Creative Estuary has a vision to forge a new future founded on creative energy and innovation, along the length of the Thames Estuary. The programme includes a number of work-streams including one dedicated to the development of Creative Assets. The ambition is to give cultural industries room to grow by providing the right physical spaces for creative communities. The cultural assets work-stream aims to identify, unlock and transform buildings for use by creative and cultural industries while continuing to support existing and planned cultural infrastructure, bringing more spaces back into creative use. HHPP is identified as one of two pilot schemes.

Creative Estuary is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and led by the University of Kent on behalf of 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 Greater North Kent and opportunity South Essex, South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN), University of Essex, Locate in Kent and cultural organisations Metal and Cement Fields. In early 2019 the University of Kent was awarded £4.3m from the DCMS Cultural Development Fund on behalf of the partners. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funds the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England.

Counterculture Partnership LLP

(Counterculture) are a leading UK cultural consultancy with significant experience of working with clients to build ideas, strategies, partnerships and programmes at local, national and international levels. The team bring extensive experience in arts, heritage, creative industries and learning sectors and our partners and associates provide clients with specialist professional services across strategy, policy, governance, management, finance, law, and capital projects. We are consultants, accountants, solicitors, project managers, marketing/brand specialists and fundraisers (also musicians, artists, historians, writers). Counterculture are committed to an individual, flexible and client-focused service to help clients be more successful and pride themselves on a practical and pragmatic approach. Our approach is friendly but rigorous (we’re regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority).

High House Production Park
Emma Wilcox, Project Director, Creative Estuary
Alex Beard headshotAlex Beard: Photo by Alun Callender