England’s Creative Coast
is an ambitious arts and tourism project led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent (Go to Places) that aims to increase tourists to the Creative Coast in the South East (Essex, Kent and Sussex), by creating an innovative and immersive new visitor experience driven by the region’s exceptional art and culture.

Antony Gormley, ANOTHER TIME, 2017. Photo credit Stephen White (8) - 1500px

World-class culture
The South East of England boasts some of the best culture in the world. Through England’s Creative Coast, internationally-renowned artists will create something completely new – site-specific artworks that span both the physical and digital sphere, and offer new kinds of cultural experiences and a tourist treasure trail. They will work with the Creative Coast’s leading art galleries and organisations Cement Fields, Creative Folkestone, De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Contemporary, Metal, Towner Eastbourne and Turner Contemporary.

Installation View, East Sussex Open 2016, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Photo Credit - Eva Eastman

First art GeoTour digital trail in the world
England’s Creative Coast tempts visitors to travel to and between the outstanding galleries along the South East coast through new cultural adventures. Using Geocaching – GPS enabled treasure trail technology , visitors can find, unlock and log new world-class cultural experiences, both physically and digitally, that have been created by the local people that live in each place, connecting to the new art works created by leading UK and international artists.

Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, 2012, photographer Matt Wilson - 1500px

Art Homes
For the first time ever, visitors can immerse themselves fully in the creative life as local artists open their homes and studios in a pioneering Art Homes accommodation offer.

John Walter, Turn My Oyster Up, 2014, photographer Bernard G Mills - 1500px

Unique travel experience
Curatable itineraries with travel, food and drink will be available to complete this unique and compelling travel experience


Culture in the South East is thriving. Over the last decade, declining coastal areas have experienced a renaissance, with new cultural initiatives driving regeneration in areas such as Margate, Folkestone, Southend-on-Sea, Eastbourne and Hastings. The economic investment in culture has proven to increase tourism (domestic and inbound) to the South East coast.

Building on this success, England’s Creative Coast continues the work begun by the three-year Culture Kent project (Kent’s Cultural Destinations 1 programme) which researched key barriers and opportunities for cultural organisations to work with the tourism sector, and the East Sussex Coastal Cultural Trail (CCT).

By using new technologies and tourism itineraries, England’s Creative Coast aims to:

  • Create exceptional new art by some of the world’s leading visual artists
  • Grow the South East visitor economy by 3% by 2020
  • Respond to current visitor trends
  • Tap into new, unexplored markets
  • Create a step-change for the visitor offer across the area
  • Create a lasting partnership framework across cultural and tourism networks in Sussex, Kent and Essex
  • Develop the information and knowledge core through perception, quantitative and qualitative research and enhancing event data pool created via the Culture Kent project


The project is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent (Go to Places), and supported by its delivery partners; Cement FieldsCreative Folkestone, De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Contemporary, Metal, Towner Eastbourne, as well as a host of associate partners across local government, culture, heritage, and travel providers in the region.

Visit to the Towner Collection Store CREDIT Phil Burrowes Avant Commercial - 1500px

This is a three-year project, starting in January 2018 and running until January 2021.

England’s Creative Coast is funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme and the UK Government’s Discover England Fund, administered by VisitEngland. The project is also supported by a number of key investors, including; the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Visit EssexSouthend Borough Council, Experience West SussexThe Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern.