New social enterprise launches with WYRD ESSEX event produced by 10 local young people

Press Release
7 September 2022
For Immediate Release


Agency for Creative Production (ACP) is a new social enterprise which has been launched to support young people in South Essex to develop their skills in live event production. ACP will facilitate enrichment opportunities for young people to build their skills in live events through direct, hands-on industry experience, with the ambition of establishing Southend, South Essex and the estuary region as a national source of creative talent. On 20 August, the first cohort of young people presented their own event WYRD ESSEX at Chalkwell Hall. The event included a daytime market and evening performances with local bands, which was organised entirely by the young people. Current resident artist at Metal, Charlotte Hamilton of Sugar Storm Studio also contributed to the day with screen printing workshops.


One of the young people said of their experience with ACP: “I really enjoyed this project and I hope others do in future. The highlight of the course for me was having an important role and responsibility as well as performing in the event itself.” 

ACP is all about putting production into practice and working with learning providers and creative businesses to offer real life opportunities that genuinely support future employability possibilities for young people. ACP has the potential to expand and diversify the live events sector through this pioneering programme with a strong social purpose. 

The idea grew from the team at Metal Southend who have been part of the development and growth of Village Green and Village Green: Next Generation, for over 10 years. The stand-alone social enterprise will be an important legacy for the festival, ensuring its core values of supporting local young people into creative careers will be sustained into the future whilst initiating an exciting range of future new community events led by young people. 

ACP has received vital investment to kickstart the agency from Creative Estuary through its Re:Generation 2031 programme, whose aims are to develop the next generation of cultural and creative leaders, by cultivating sector-led skills-focused opportunities in North Kent and South Essex. Creative Estuary has been piloting a number of approaches/initiatives to test 

models and are excited by the opportunity that working with Metal offers. 

ACP’s long-term vision is to expand live events across the region by creating the next generation of skilled, trained events professionals, as well as providing opportunities for existing events professionals to upskill and gain specialist qualifications.

The first pilot programme was a huge success. 10 local young people came together and devised WYRD ESSEX, a ‘subcultural’ market and live music event with support from the Metal team and guest artists. Taking place at Chalkwell Hall, WYRD ESSEX was entirely 

curated by the young people and consisted of a daytime market with local artists and makers, followed by a gig spotlighting 4 local musicians/bands night. 

Launching this September ACP will be collaborating with USP College on an exciting one year course – UAL Creative Enterprise Level 4 Professional Diploma. This partnership will enable students to gain hands-on creative experience to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue a career in the creative industries. Students will develop work in ‘residence’ at Chalkwell Hall, as well as at USP’s creative arts studios at the Seevic Campus. During the course students will develop their own creative practice with guidance from professionals involved in a diverse range of creative careers. 

The qualification will provide students with an opportunity to cultivate their employability by developing creative enterprise skills, and making creative connections whilst developing start-up projects and professional practice. 

This course is free for learners aged 16-18. If you are aged 19 or over on 1 September in the academic year during which you wish to start the course, there will be a course fee. e-enterprise-level-4-professional-diploma/ 


For further information, images and interview requests, please contact: 

Twitter: @agencyforcp 

Instagram: @agencyforcp 


AGENCY FOR CREATIVE PRODUCTION putting production into practice. ACP is an exciting new social enterprise, focussed on creating innovative skills and training programmes for young people. ACP’s mission is to expand and diversify the live events sector creating better alignment between industry and education. We do this by supporting young people into placements and work experience, working in partnership to diversify the talent pipeline, and testing new community-led live events with linked opportunities for established local events practitioners. ACP grows out of 10 years of youth engagement via Village Green festival & will be closely supported by Metal to develop the new organisation, secure new partnerships & programme to flourish independently. 

Instagram: @AgencyforCP / Twitter: @AgencyforCP / Contact: 

METAL was founded by Jude Kelly CBE in 2002. 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. / @MetalSouthend 

CREATIVE ESTUARY has a vision to forge a new future founded on creative energy and innovation, along the length of the Thames Estuary. The project 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. / @CreativeEstuary 

WYRD Essex poster announcement artwork by Tom and Farah
Agency for Creative Production young producers aged 16-25 worked together to produce WYRD ESSEX event on 20 August 2022 at Chalkwell Hall, Image credit: Hayley Scott. From left to right: Jess, Tom, Tash, Ellie, Charlie, Ruby, Farah, Ella, George.