Medway’s UK City of Culture bid and Creative Medway invite locals to send in their ideas as part of Medway’s Great Big Ideas Call Out

Medway 2025 supporters outside the Jetstream Tours boat

This morning, Medway’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid announced an opportunity for everyone in and around Medway to get involved in helping to shape Medway’s UK City of Culture bid. 

Medway’s 2025 bid together with Creative Medway launched Medway’s Great Big Ideas Call Out as part of an event attended by locals and bid supporters on board a newly revealed Medway 2025 bid boat on the River Medway.

The call out is open to everyone of all ages to make suggestions, pitch ideas and voice what they would like to see happen in Medway during 2025 and over the life of the area’s new decade-long cultural strategy, led by Creative Medway.

Digital resources will be made available to every school in the area with the ambition of allowing every child and young person in education to submit their ideas as part of the development of the bid.

Whether in the form of creative commissions, public events, community projects or changes to Medway’s places and spaces, people across the area are invited to share who they would like to see perform in Medway, what opportunities they would like for local people and how they would like to bring Medway to life. No idea is too big or too small, with locals invited to say if they would like to be involved in bringing their ideas to life themselves should they be picked.

To submit an idea, locals can head to the Medway 2025 website homepage, fill out a form at their local Medway library or pop their idea into any of the ideas post boxes popping up around Medway. Submissions are welcomed in video, audio or written formats or in British Sign Language in any language.

Fiona Watt, Chair of Creative Medway, comments: “Medway’s communities are now at the centre of shaping creative and cultural delivery with the support of Creative Medway. Our ten year cultural strategy launched earlier this year with input from all of Medway’s communities. As part of our City of Culture bid we are asking everyone in Medway what they would like to see happen here in 2025.  Culture, in its widest possible sense, has the capacity to affect change and we are asking everyone to be part of that.”

The Medway 2025 x Jetstream Tours boat

During a river tour on the Medway 2025 boat, community members and those involved in developing the bid urged people to step up to support and shape Medway’s bid and reflected on the significant local and regional support that has shaped the bid so far.

Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “We have a bold and ambition vision for Medway’s future and culture plays a pivotal part of making this vision a reality. Medway’s residents and communities really are at the heart of Medway’s bid and I would encourage residents of all ages to submit ideas about what they would like to see happen in Medway in 2025. Emphasise your ideas, think outside the box, nothing little or small. Becoming UK City of Culture 2025 would bring significant benefits to Medway and help showcase all we have to offer. It would also create a legacy of opportunities for Medway’s young people, which supports our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.” 

The City of Culture branded boat will be setting sail up and down the River throughout the summer.  Boat Operator JetStream Tours who supported the launch event today invites residents and visitors to share photos of the boat when they see it and book their own river tour via the JetStream website.

Imogen Robertson, Bid Director at Medway 2025, comments: “No idea is too big or too small, too serious or too silly – let your imaginations run wild!  We want to hear from everyone across the whole area what they would like to see happen in Medway in 2025 and over the ten years of the cultural strategy.  How can we improve the lives of everyone here and tell our story to the wider world?  We are particularly excited to hear from young people across Medway’s schools as well as the wider Medway community, this is a chance for everyone to have their say.”

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