Essex businesses to help shape county’s biggest science and arts celebration

Essex businesses to help shape county’s biggest science and arts celebration

BUSINESSES and industries across Essex are being encouraged to get involved in the county’s biggest ever public celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in 2020.

‘Essex 2020 – a Year of Science and Creativity’, an initiative of Essex Partners, was launched to more than 150 delegates at the Essex Assembly this week (Tuesday 17 September) at Chelmsford City Racecourse.

Gavin Jones, CEO of Essex County Council, speaking at the event, said: “With an abundance of tech innovators, global engineering pioneers and young people with brilliant ideas across Essex – we can be ambitious of Essex’s role in creating the conditions for investment, new partnerships and new experiences across Essex and boost new opportunities in STEAM education that last well beyond 2020.

“Essex boasts a strong history in innovation, technology and enterprise.  Showcasing our heritage whilst inspiring the scientists, artists and engineers of the future is vital to boost our future prosperity.”

Inspired by Anglia Ruskin University’s successful bid to host the prestigious British Science Festival at its Chelmsford Campus in September 2020, Essex 2020 will showcase a year-long programme of STEAM-related events, workshops, exhibitions, talks and more with an ambition to celebrate the county’s pioneering past and drive innovation and prosperity through collaboration between industry, the arts and education.

Councillor Marie Goldman, cabinet member for Connected Chelmsford at Chelmsford City Council added: “Opportunities like the British Science Festival coming to your city don’t come around very often. Essex 2020 provides an excellent opportunity for Chelmsford to shine as the capital of Essex and celebrate our rich past and future heritage in science and innovation, in both new and creative ways.”

With the British Science Festival at its heart, the Essex 2020 programme will feature anchor events such as Essex Book Festival, Rochford Discover 2020, the Estuary Festival, T100 Walking Festival and Sounds of Essex Youth Festival.  The year will also celebrate significant centenary celebrations across Essex such as 400 years since The Mayflower left Harwich for the New World and 100 years since the Marconi Company broadcast the world’s first live recital by a professional musician – Dame Nellie Melba – from a studio at its Chelmsford factory.

In addition, hundreds of design and technology, music and dance, skills and engineering, space, coding and health events have been submitted to the Essex 2020 programme from leading businesses to grassroots organisations across the county.

Hayley Dixon, Deputy Director, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea said: “We’re proud to be part of Essex 2020 which offers a great opportunity to forge new collaborations between the arts and sciences, around some of today’s most pressing issues. Focal Point Gallery champions creativity in all subject matters, and the Essex 2020 programme will bring together practitioners and communities across the region to promote the skills and mind set needed for living and working in the twenty-first century.”

All businesses, schools and colleges, community organisations and individuals who wish to submit a STEAM-related event or activity to the Essex 2020 programme or simply want to find out more can get involved at

Gavin Jones is pictured with colleagues from the ‘Essex 2020’ programme. Left to right: David Humber, Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society (CSES); Hayley Dixon, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea; Gavin Jones; Zenith McIntyre-Allen, Essex County Council and Marc De’Ath, Chelmsford City Council.