Ebbsfleet will be the first new Garden City in 100 years. With strong a strong growth target of 15,000 new homes by 2035, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is looking to establish infrastructure which will support the social, cultural, and economic life of its new residents. Fourth Street was commissioned, alongside a larger project with RCKa and AOC architects, to assess the opportunity for cultural production and community provision in Ebbsfleet and to craft an external document which grabs the attention of the regional and national cultural sector.
Fourth Street had two goals throughout the project: to support Ebbsfleet Development Corporation staff in managing cultural infrastructure choices and decisions, while also bringing a new perspective and challenging the client to be ambitious. An in-depth strategic review early in the project helped the client to navigate a spiderweb of strategies related to the Thames estuary and position the developing document. We also proposed a sorting system for infrastructure which balanced Ebbsfleet’s cultural strategy aims with significant economic opportunities which can work together to create a more vibrant place.
Consultations with leading regional organisations, funders, and stakeholders helped to establish a public-facing identity for a fledgling community that would attract a wide range of creative and cultural industries. The final prospectus brought together two of the largest investment areas for the region - cultural production and digital infrastructure – to envision a creative community which places digital and physical cultural engagement on equal footing.
“Fourth Street quickly got to grips with these complexities and further developed Ebbsfleet’s culture vision and strategy into a broader cultural infrastructure prospectus or ‘offer’ for a wide range of cultural and creative professionals to operate from and/or relocate here. Fourth Street carefully crafted a narrative which communicates our ambition for culture and creativity to be part of the DNA of the place and its people, with something for everyone, whilst highlighting the potential to fill some of the cultural gaps in the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.”