Cement Fields announces Future Ebbsfleet, a pioneering three-year placemaking programme of research, artists’ residencies and co-commissions, created collaboratively with young people from Ebbsfleet Garden City.

Cement Fields, working in partnership with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, has been awarded public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England for Future Ebbsfleet, a three-year programme of research, artists’ residencies and co-commissions, created collaboratively with young people from Ebbsfleet Garden City.

As the first new Garden City for 100 years, the plans for Ebbsfleet Garden City are formidable, including creating up to 15,000 new homes, 30,000 jobs, nine new schools, and seven new city-scale parks, by 2035. Future Ebbsfleet aims to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by this new town, and how these can be re-examined and countered through radical, youth and art-led creative placemaking.

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, says: “We’re excited to support Cement Fields’ ambitious community focused project supported by National Lottery funding. It will put public art at the centre of the Ebbsfleet Garden City development and allow young people to add their creative vision, not just for themselves, but also for subsequent generations.”

Working in collaboration with artists and a wide range of partners, young people aged 16-25 will co-lead the programme, exploring and shaping Ebbsfleet Garden City as it is built.

Together they will research what has worked locally, nationally and internationally, and will consider innovative and radical placemaking ideas with partners including architects, designers, philosophers and policy makers.

This process will feed into a series of new and experimental artists’ residencies and commissions embedded in the city and community that will connect the histories and potential futures of the social, political, geographical and civic landscapes they live in.

Kevin McGeough, Head of Strategy and Placemaking at Ebbsfleet Development Corporation says: “We are excited to partner with Cement Fields on this innovative new programme, to genuinely embed young people and artists in shaping Ebbsfleet Garden City, empowering new and existing young residents to take a leadership role in shaping their future place with a focus on arts and culture development, to ensure they develop a sense of ownership of their community.”

At this pivotal moment in time, Future Ebbsfleet continues Cement Fields commitment to supporting artists and young people to build creative, inclusive and empowered communities in North Kent. Given the increase in economic uncertainty experienced by young people and the artistic community in the region due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the impacts of which will be felt long into the future, this programme gives people a continued stake in the development of the new Garden City and creates tangible opportunities for them to develop as their own cultural and civic leaders.

More details on the Future Ebbsfleet programme and how to get involved will be announced in Autumn 2020. Future Ebbsfleet is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation.