Essex 2020 is a collaborative celebration, involving hundreds of individuals, organisations and businesses from across Essex and beyond. The programme and its outcomes belong to everyone. Find out more about our mission and the tools and resources available to support your STEAM project.

Who is behind Essex 2020?

Essex 2020 is a collaborative celebration, involving hundreds of individuals, organisations and businesses from across the county and beyond. The programme and its outcomes belong to everyone.

The catalyst for Essex 2020 was Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society (CSES), who celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2020, working with Anglia Ruskin University to  successfully bid to host the British Science Festival in September 2020. It is Europe’s longest science programme and will come to Essex for the first time in its 189-year history.   Building on the opportunity the Festival will offer, alongside the significant historical science and engineering anniversaries across Essex, CSES proposed a year-long festival of science.

Working with Anglia Ruskin University, Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council it was decided to create a year-long festival of STEAM-related activities in Essex led to the commissioning of Essex 2020 – A Year of Science and Creativity by Essex Partners.

Essex Partners has established the following management framework to shape and deliver the collaborative programme of events:

Project Management

The day-to-day running and development of Essex 2020 is managed by always possible. This strategic place-making and projects company has experience of designing innovative projects that bring together business, education, public services and the creative industries.


The overall programme is commissioned by Essex Partners, comprising of organisations dedicated to improving the county. This includes all county and district/borough authorities, Active Essex, Anglia Ruskin University, Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital Trust, Diocese of Essex, Essex Community & Voluntary Sector, Essex Police Fire & Crime Commissioner, Essex Partnership University Trust, Mid-Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Mid-Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), The Essex Alliance and the University of Essex.

Strategic Board

The legacy, strategic aims and outcomes of the programme are overseen by executive leaders from Anglia Ruskin University, BBC Essex, Chelmsford Science & Engineering Society, Chelmsford City Council, Chelmsford Cultural Development Trust, Diocese of Essex, Essex County Council and Teledyne e2v.

Steering Group

The Essex 2020 Steering Group works closely ensures that the core operational priorities are well-managed. Alongside three specialist working groups focused on education, funding and communications, the Group ensures that Essex 2020 creates platforms and conditions for:

  • colleges and universities to offer wider educational opportunity
  • science and engineering companies to showcase jobs, invention and future technologies
  • arts and cultural organisations to create experiences to help people shape their identity in relation to both STEAM and Essex.

The Steering Group and working groups include a range of representatives from the arts, heritage, business, science, local authorities, parks and green spaces, education, community and voluntary sector, and the media, from across Essex.

Discover your local Hub

Our ambition is that during 2020:

  • Every Essex resident can reach a range of STEAM activity within 30 minutes of their home.
  • New cross-sector and cross-region collaborations will develop that last beyond 2020.
  • Working together will boost local confidence in invention, discovery, creativity and opportunity in Essex.

During 2020, we want to ensure that local practitioners, organisations and businesses can get involved in the events programme. Whether you want to celebrate STEAM activity you are already doing, develop new projects or partnerships, or access support, find your local Hub.

What is a Hub?

Each local Hub is a network of organisations galvanised by Essex 2020 to work together because they share geography and ambitions. They are led by local creative, science or education-focused organisations with a history of effective network-building and facilitation. Together we will shape how Essex 2020 outcomes are delivered locally.

What do Hubs do?

Being part of the Hub means will give you access to:

  • Essex 2020 collaboration events; practical, action-led forums encouraging new partnerships and ideas
  • Signposting to support, information and training
  • Raising your profile through the Essex 2020 communications channels
  • Reaching new audiences through the Essex 2020 programme
  • Influence on how STEAM participation events develop to meet local need

Where is my local Hub?

There are currently six Hubs:

  • Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon & Maldon (led by Chelmsford Ignite)
  • Thurrock, Rochford, Southend and Castle Point (led by Twenty One)
  • Uttlesford (led by Stansted Airport College)
  • Braintree (led by Braintree Cultural Education Partnership)
  • Colchester & Tendring (led by Signals)
  • Harlow & Epping Forest (led by Creative Ways Harlow CIC)

We anticipate that more Hubs will emerge throughout 2020 and beyond. If you are interested in setting-up an Essex 2020 Hub, please get in touch via the contact page.

How do I get involved?

Submit an idea on the Expression of Interest form.

Submitting your ideas and activities will enable us to match your projects with potential funding, partners, resources and marketing – and connect with other Hubs if there is an ambition to move a project around Essex.