KWMC

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History

The history of Knowle West Media Centre spans two decades, four buildings and over 300 projects.

Read some of the highlights below and share your memories with us on Twitter @knowlewestmedia.

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May 1996

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KWMC's origins date back to a photography project run by Carolyn Hassan (now the KWMC Director) at Knowle West Health Association. The success of this first project inspired others and the decision was taken to unite the projects and run them from the former William Budd Health Centre.
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June 2002

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KWMC - then called Knowle West Media Project - was formally constituted as an independent charity and registered organisation.
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June 2006

Having changed our name to Knowle West Media Centre, we received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service by Groups in the Community.

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March 2007

It had become clear that our building - the former William Budd Health Centre - wasn’t up to the standard we needed and we supported a group of local young people to gather ideas for a new centre. The Archimedia group consulted with residents, devised a project brief, and recruited White Design as the architects.

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March 2007

The former Health Centre was demolished in March 2007 and work began on a new purpose-built media centre.

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February 2008

The keys to the finished KWMC building were handed over on 14th February 2008 during a visit from the Chancellor the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling.

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July 2009

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Martha Lane Fox, the government’s Digital Inclusion Champion, visited KWMC and met residents involved in our projects. Topics of discussion included ways of using digital media to involve the community in regeneration planning and how to increase access to digital technologies.
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June 2010

Knowle West residents were invited to open-air lunch to launch the University of Local Knowledge: an arts project that aims to uncover and celebrate the skills and talents that exist within the area.

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September 2010

The two-day ‘Demanding Conversations’ conference provided an opportunity for policy makers, practitioners and academics to meet and reflect on issues facing socially engaged arts practice.

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October 2011

During a tour of Bristol, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visited KWMC and met residents and young people working with us to develop arts projects within the community.

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April 2012

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It was announced that KWMC would become a National Portfolio Organisation and be awarded three years’ funding from Arts Council England, beginning in April 2012.
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January 2013

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KWMC became an Active Member of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).
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March 2013

The European Regional Development Fund awarded KWMC a £311,606 grant to support the development of eight small enterprises that utilise ‘green’ and digital technologies.

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August 2013

KWMC joined forces with students from the University of Bristol and the British Computer Society (BCS) to mentor 30 young people during a week of coding. During the event, run by Young Rewired State, young people built their own software applications - and two young people presented their ideas at Birmingham's Custard Factory at the end of the week.

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January 2014

We were visited by a delegation from China’s Expert Committee on Climate Change. Our team shared some of the lessons we've learned through partnership working with organisations across Europe on projects like 3eHouses and IES Cities.

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May 2014

On Friday 2nd May we had the honour of hosting the national broadcast of BBC Radio 4′s flagship political panel programme Any Questions? The panel, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby, debated five questions including violence in schools, rent control and the increasing use of foodbanks across the UK. The panelists were George Eustice MP, media executive Kelvin Mackenzie, food writer and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe, and Mary Creagh MP.

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June 2014

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KWMC opened a tattoo parlour with a difference in Knowle West – instead of inking new tattoos the mobile tattoo parlour collects pieces of body art and the stories behind them, as part of arts project I Will Always Have You.
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July 2014

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We were delighted to receive continued funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation for 2015-2018.
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November 2014

A new community making space opened its doors for the first time...We worked with local organisation re:work to transform the empty youth centre on Newquay Road into the Eagle House Pop Up Furniture Factory. Three local people were hired as trainees and the team started producing furniture for the new Filwood Green Business Park.

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May 2015

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The Eagle House Pop Up Furniture Factory moved from its temporary home to a business unit in the newly-opened Filwood Green Business Park. The new manufacturing space took the name KWMC: The Factory.
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June 2015

KWMC became the first venue south of the river to host Shaun C Badham's neon artwork 'I'm Staying'. The switch-on event celebrated both the artwork's first birthday and the success of the Eagle House Pop Up Furniture Factory.

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October 2015

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KWMC: The Factory was recognised for its contribution to training and manufacturing in Bristol, in an awards ceremony celebrating young craftsmen and women at the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House. The Guild of Guardians presented the team from The Factory with the prestigious Alfred Telling Award.
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January 2016

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KWMC began a year of activity to mark 20 years since the first Knowle West photography project, delivered by Director Carolyn Hassan. The celebrations will culminate in a 20th birthday party and new photography exhibition exploring how photography and society have changed over two decades.
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November 2016

Knowle West was named as one of the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) Smart21 Communities of 2017. The cities and communities in the select group were recognised for their work in applying ‘digital tools to building local economies and societies' and Knowle West was the only community in the UK to make the shortlist. The area is now in the running for the international award of Smart Community of 2017.

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October 2017

KWMC and White Design launched the We Can Make initiative after almost a year of research and experimentation. The programme aims to create sustainable, affordable housing that meets local needs and utilises local skills: the community becomes the developer! In summer 2017 We Can Make constructed a beautiful prototype home next to Filwood Community Centre; in October local residents and Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees stayed overnight to try it out.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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