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What is the Stour Valley Creative Partnership?

The Stour Valley Creative Partnership is a new creative partnership which has been formed to take forward the legacy of Stour Valley Arts Trust. The partnership is between Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership, Ashford Borough Council, Forestry Commission, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, University for the Creative Arts and University of Kent. Kent County Council are also contributing.

Stour Valley Arts originally came about in 1993 through a partnership of organisations working together, including KSCP, ABC, KCC and the Forestry Commission. A working group was developed with Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council and from this a consultant was appointed to commission works centred around King’s Wood. From 1994 to 2000, with a range of funding sources, a number of works were produced. From 2001 to 2014 staff were employed through the Trust to deliver commissions and educational workshops. In 2009 the Trust moved into offices in Ashford with a gallery.

In 2015 due funding constraints the Board of Trustees decided it had to cease trading.

What is its vision?

In the first instance the partnership will look to maintain the existing art works in King’s Wood and to archive the work of Stour Valley Arts, through the University for the Creative Arts, so it is available for future use. The longer term vision will be to engage a wide audience with art and the magic of King’s Wood through interpretation, educational programmes and facilitating new commissions of works of art in King’s Wood and the wider landscape.

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The Partnerships aims…

  • To promote Kings Wood and Stour Valley Arts as a visitor experience.
  • To encourage use of King’s Wood and the wider landscape by further and higher education colleges and universities studying and participating in art work and other subjects.
  • To promote the resources in King’s Wood, as inspiration for new artworks around the themes of environment, culture and history, which will stimulate and engage members of the public.
  • To work with schools and community groups introducing them to the magic of the forest, encouraging art work, forest crafts, writing skills, and a love of nature.
  • To act as an advocate for the arts, based in landscape seeking that it becomes a critical part of the wider arts/culture/ regeneration agenda.