Creative Estuary - Developing the World’s most exciting creative cluster
June 09th 2021
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Founder & CEO
The London Collective
Max is Founder & CEO of the London Collective, a network of built environment experts and creatives fighting to improve people’s lives and the planet’s prospects. Their members are experts in social impact, zero carbon and modern methods of construction (MMC) as well as architecture, engineering, graphic design and film-making. They are a radical and agile ‘one stop shop’ for projects anywhere in the world.
Max’s expertise lies in placemaking and communications. He was a Partner at Farrells for 10 years, the internationally renowned architects with offices in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai, before leaving to set up the London Collective in 2019. He is currently leading on the vision and masterplan for a new town in Oxfordshire with 6,500 homes and a national centre of excellence for MMC. He is developing feasibility studies for globally significant wellbeing resorts in urban centres and leading on #ParkPower: A collaborative Vision for the Future of London’s Green Spaces.
Max was Project Leader and Author of the Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment, commissioned by the UK Government, which made 60 recommendations spanning education, outreach & skills; design quality; cultural heritage; economic benefits & architecture policy, many of which have now been implemented. In 2020 he co-authored Collectively Speaking: The Future of Town Centres Post-Coronavirus published by the Developer Magazine. In January 2021, Max was appointed Chair of the Cultural Co-Location Advisory Group for Creative Estuary. He is an adviser to London National Park City, Urban Design London, the Place Alliance, the Urban Room Network and the National Arts and Place Consortium.
Non Executive Board Member & Music Producer
Thames Estuary Growth Board
Head of Film
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
Lisa Dee has worked for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for nine years. Lisa established and now manages the council’s Film Office (Film LBBD). The borough has since attracted major film productions from across the UK, Europe and the USA, such as Dr Strange, Avengers Assemble, Black Mirror, Humans and BBC’s Luther. Filming days have grown exponentially since 2012, now making Barking and Dagenham one of the preferred filming boroughs in London. Lisa grew up in Hackney and a now long-time resident of Barking and Dagenham. Lisa truly believes that the borough is on the cusp of accelerating the creative industry in London – her vision being “the shift is east”. Lisa played a pivotal role in the inception and development of London’s newest bespoke built studios for 25 years, bringing creative jobs and investment to Dagenham and East London. She is committed to supporting young people and local creatives get their break into the industry and believes this growth will create an ecosystem of benefits to the local economy, businesses and the wider community to aspire to brighter futures for years to come.
Chair / Deputy Chair / Co-chair
Creative Estuary / SELEP / SECEN & TEPC
Sarah Dance is a strategic consultant for the culture and creative industries, with over 25 years’ experience in the creative sector. She has led a wide range of cultural organisations and set up her own consultancy in 2002. Her work covers business and capital development, creative production, organisational change development, and leadership mentoring.
In addition to her consultancy work and her Deputy Chairship of South East Local Enterprise Partnership, she is Co-Chair of the South East Creative Economy Network and Chair of Creative Estuary and has led the visioning of Thames Estuary Production Corridor. She is on the Civic University Network Advisory Group and UAL Advisory Group for their UKRI funded Modelling and supporting recovery of the UK’s experience economy. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Cultural Development Manager
Ebbsfleet Garden City
Laura has worked across the culture sector for 20 years, from photography and music to heritage and arts, within the corporate, public and charity sectors, across strategic, policy-based roles, and direct delivery at the heart of communities. She is a creative thinker who thrives on collaboration. Her primary interests are around the transformative power of creativity on personal and collective wellbeing, and inclusive growth. Over 5 years she led a number of innovative arts, health and wellbeing programmes and contributed to the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. More recently Laura’s focus has been on whole place approaches, developing a cultural placemaking approach for Ebbsfleet Garden City. She is a Fellow of the RSA.
Non-Executive Board Member / Board Lead on Inward Investment
Thames Estuary Growth Board / Purfleet Centre Regeneration
Ken Dytor’s career started in the UK Crown Estates Commissioner well over 30 years ago, and worked as development director at British Land before forming Urban Catalyst. He was board member of London South Bank University. He has also been Chair of the student charity International Students House.
Ken has a long history of combining the creative industries in his core regeneration projects. He is Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban Catalyst: a mixed-use real estate developer with a strong record of delivering public-private projects focusing on sustainability in the UK. It is now development manager for Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd (of which Ken is a major shareholder) in partnership with Thurrock Borough Council, for the redevelopment of the 140 acre + riverside development of circa 2,850 homes, a new town centre around the railway station and as well as extensive health and education infrastructure.
Ken is Executive Chair of Purfleet Studios, a new film, TV and media studio complex designed by AHMM the award winning architects. In developIng the studios at Purfleet the intention is to assist in making the Thames Estuary the heart of the UK’s digital and creative industry.
Creative Estuary - Developing the world’s most exciting creative cluster
How cultural co-location is shaping cultural regeneration in the Thames Estuary
We have assembled an influential and expert panel of leaders from the Public and Private sectors, chaired by Max Farrell, to explore this topic. We’ll hear how Creative Estuary is testing and demonstrating new practice in the role of cultural-led regeneration. As well as planning and placemaking through designing and planning for co-located cultural facilities and creative workspaces within planned civic infrastructure in different development scenarios.
As pilot projects of Creative Estuary, we’ll hear about the developments at Ebbsfleet Garden City and Purfleet and how cultural co-location is helping to shape their future. We’ll get an understanding of how cultural vision and economic vision are coming together in the form of cultural co-location and how the benefits of this are being articulated to business and community. We’ll also hear from the creative industry on the benefits and impact of working in a creative cluster and about the planned new film & TV studio in Dagenham and the role the creative cluster plays in its successful operation as well as wider placemaking in Dagenham. Also with us are representatives from the Thames Estuary Growth Board who will tell us how Creative Estuary is important to their wider ambitions for the area.
About Creative Estuary: from Southend to Margate, the Thames Estuary is a region of untold creative potential. Creative Estuary will be driving forward the evolution of this region, unlocking its potential as an international cultural hub and an inspirational place for a new generation of talent to thrive. Part of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, the aim is to use culture as the catalyst for growth, making the region an attractive location for creative individuals and businesses to work, collaborate and grow. Creative Estuary is one of 5 projects supported by the Cultural Development Fund awarded £4.3m in 2019 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The Cultural Development Fund marks a new approach to cultural and creative investment, focusing on geographical location and the effect that strategic investment can have on economic growth and productivity.