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US musician supports KWMC with latest release

A US-based musician has selected Knowle West Media Centre as one of two charities that support young musicians to receive a donation of proceeds from his latest release.

Vexxe, from Ohio in the eastern USA, will split the proceeds from Pulse 5 between KWMC and Music Loves Ohio, a non-profit organisation providing opportunities for financially underserved youth in central Ohio to pursue their passion for music.

He explains: “everyone who was involved with the release viewed it as an opportunity to support local organisations working to make music accessible to underserved youth in our communities.

“While I am from Ohio, the record label [Circular Jaw] is based in Birmingham and the remix artists are from Bristol and London. We wanted to split the proceeds to create an impact in both local communities.

“We are thrilled to support KWMC’s dedication to uplifting people from diverse backgrounds to develop tools, skills, resources, and opportunities to achieve social change.”

Vexxe was introduced to KWMC by Matthew Bentley, a teacher at a local college.

He says: “I have known Matthew virtually for a few years. He was the mastering engineer behind this release and one half of production duo Spektralsound, who remixed Pulse 5. Matthew highly recommended KWMC and mentioned that KWMC took a few of his students on a wellness and song-writing retreat in nature.”

Vexxe describes the sound of Pulse 5 as ‘rhythmic, introspective music for the body and mind alike,’ taking inspiration from dance music including techno, breaks, and 2-step.

You can hear and support Vexxe’s latest release via the Circular Jaw Bandcamp and find out more about his music on his Facebook page, or search VexxeMusic on Twitter.

We’d like to thank Vexxe and the team at Circular Jaw for choosing to support KWMC and helping us continue our work supporting young musicians and communities across Bristol to explore their creativity.

If you have a business and would like to find out more about supporting KWMC please visit the Support page. You can also donate online via the link below





Vexxe would like to thank the remix artists Spektralsound (Matthew Bentley and Robin Matto), Hartta (Benji Kaarbanik) and Meta (Sean Gomez and Alex Blake), Andrew Gibbins and Sam Calcutt at Circular Jaw, and Steffan Corr for organising the remixes.

The Data Says It All

We are delighted to share a new video work made by Richard Layzell especially for Knowle West Media Centre. It is a reflection on his work with us since 2010 and a poetic weaving together of his experiences of being in residency in the neighbourhood and working with members of the Knowle West community. It was made during the COVID-19 lockdown as a way to keep sharing his work with audiences.

Richard Layzell is an award-winning visual and performance artist based in London. He has completed several residencies with KWMC and regularly shows his work internationally.

Richard’s practice and ongoing collaboration with KWMC demonstrate the importance of artists who work within communities spending time immersing themselves in an area – building relationships, talking and listening, and understanding what’s important to people – and the impact that this immersion can have for both artists and community.

We are committed to supporting artists and communities to work together and will be developing new ‘slow residency’ strands in the coming years.

Thank you to Richard for sharing this film with us and for the inspiration, curiosity and generosity he continues to bring to Knowle West and KWMC.

Transcript: The Data Says it All – Richard Layzell

It all began in Shanghai one Saturday morning in 2009, when I stood for sixty minutes on the corner of Shilong Road, counting vehicles without exhaust pipes. These were bikes of all kinds and the occasional electric scooter. There were 2000 in that hour. I was keeping a record of this moment, to make an environmental comparison with the west, a comparison that would be very different today, now that the car has stepped up to take up its rightful place in an even more developed Chinese economy.

I had a bike, myself, to get around the square mile where I lived and worked in the south of the city. It was called Shuangzulong, which ironically translates as ‘bipedal’, because one of the pedals fell off the first time I used it. Anyway, this was data collected and when the Knowle West Media Centre advertised a project called Whose Data? a year later, I talked about this Shanghai experience in my application. And I remembered it when the work began. This time the counting happened in shops, the convenience stores of Knowle West. I stood close to the till, trying to be invisible, noting down the categories of what people bought, rather than the brands: soft drink, energy drink, booze, fags, tobacco, lottery, white bread, eggs, crisps, biscuits, milk, newspaper, Paypoint, sweets, pie, onion. I wasn’t aiming to be judgmental about their purchases, but when I read from these lists at a public event a few weeks later, a local councillor described this as significant research into cultural deprivation. Hmm.

I also looked at biodiversity, the range of other species living here, and I had Steve, the Media Centre’s then caretaker, as a special databank. I came to realise that his local knowledge of wildlife was embedded in him. I borrowed a sound recorder and met Steve just before dawn. He took me to the Wills Site, the Bommie, the Black Path, and the Horse Field. The birds were enough and he knew it. The dawn choruses were fantastical symphonies of competing soundscapes, natural and man-made. We stood in silence listening acutely to what was being recorded, trying not to cough or sneeze. In between recordings, Steve spoke guiltily about his boyhood experiences as a poacher, and with authority that this was a green corridor for birds and other creatures. From their perspective Knowle West is a rich source of food, cover and safety. Up here, the pattern of open land, housing and the many patches of green space are only interrupted by the major highway that is, Hartcliffe Way.

Still thinking about data I came back a year later with another idea, this time related to binary code. I would visit every street in Knowle West and photograph all the house numbers that contained a one or a zero or both. These were, obviously, numbers 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, 110 and 111. It took quite a while. The photos were then displayed side-by-side in the gallery, and all the residents of the featured houses were invited to a special event to find their number on the wall, with one lucky winner going away with a Morrison’s voucher for £50. It was a binary bonanza, a celebration of numerology, and a record of house number manufacturing over a 90-year period, and another unique view of this unique neighbourhood.

Then came the Artist Hotel project, joining in the research for the idea of imagining an artist hotel for Knowle West. Some of my research focused on hotels in London and the South East that branded themselves as ‘artistic’, including the Artist Residence Hotel in Brighton and the St Martins Lane Hotel in London. I tend to see hotel lobbies and foyers as semi-public spaces that can be occupied, and that’s what I did. I asked the price of a room. I wandered around to get the ambience, sometimes behaving on the edge of performance, to see how far I could go before being stopped. When it came to the presentation of my findings I’d not long been back from a visit to Ethiopia, where corrugated metal sheets are a base building material for many homes and shops, so I decided to include hammering on a piece of locally sourced corrugated steel as an antidote to the glamorous hotel culture that I’d been experiencing. Artists don’t need a swanky hotel. Nor does Knowle West.

The landscape of the place on the hill in Bristol BS4 is always with me. I’ve spent long enough to get under its surface and be inside its weather. I’ve walked those streets, all of them, seen the sun rise and set, explored the wilderness at the back of Greenfield School with the kids, been humbled by Steve’s instinctive knowledge, looked up and looked down, listened and watched… BS4 was even with me in the Alice Springs desert and the Montreal rain when I was working on my new ecological project called The Naming in 2018. As a part of this I came back to Bristol last year to explore the huge tidal range of the River Avon and the Bristol Channel, the second highest in the world, and the potential pollution in the Malago River, using a lo-fi method involving unbleached tampons and UV light. The results were not conclusive, but veered on the side of not polluted, which was great news.

This year I was further along with The Naming and keen to share my discoveries with the people of Knowle West. I wanted to give them a direct experience of ecology in an event called Not Green…. So, in January I spend a couple of days looking around and planning. Walking down the slope opposite the Park Centre in Daventry Road and into the trees, I’m surprised to find a flowing stream. This reminds me of Mardalsfossen waterfall in Norway, a place I’d been to the previous summer, to see the site of the first ever eco-action that was led by the philosopher Arne Naess, in 1970. It’s one of Northern Europe’s most spectacular waterfalls. This stream here is tiny, but the sight and sound of running water are enough to make the connection.

There’s an elegant mature tree in the garden of the old vicarage next to St Barnabas Church. It’s some kind of maple Jim thinks. As a tree expert, he explains that this tree has had regular pollarding. I only know about pruning and coppicing. He tells me that pollarding is to encourage growth and to keep a regular shape. I think of the lines of plane trees in London that have their limbs cut to stumps every year. I wonder what you call this? Mutilation perhaps.

In March, as the day approaches, the weather forecast is worrying. Expect heavy rain, hail and very strong winds. Although we’ve asked people to bring waterproof clothing, strong shoes and an umbrella, the wind will be almost gale force. This could be tricky. Time to rethink. I go back to the Park Centre, our meeting place, to look for ways to keep dry. There’s a neglected lobby tucked away, opposite the reception desk. It’s enclosed and quiet, and I’ll be able to play sounds and video here to the assembled group, at the start. Then I remember one of the main themes of my bigger project, about how the naming of other species can create a separation, as if identification is enough. ‘Oh look this is an oak tree, that’s a hedge sparrow, it’s in a hedge, can you hear the woodpecker, it’s pecking wood, that’s why it’s called a woodpecker, get it?’ So I decide to find another kind of name for some of the trees that live around the edge of the Park Centre complex.

So, we’ll start inside and then go inside/outside to the courtyard, to visit a silver birch tree surrounded by bricks, and then we’ll come back inside to go outside, where we can find the derelict pond once funded by the Princes Trust, and notice the savagely pruned trees at the end of some adjoining back gardens, hacked down without any respect for their feelings or dignity. This is not pollarding.

And now we go all the way outside. We move across Daventry Road to look at the well-shaped tree in the vicarage, and pass through the metal barrier and into the majesty of the Bommie. The rain has mainly kept off. But the wind is picking up. We carefully make our way down the steep grass slope with small sideways steps. Someone is wearing trainers and becomes mud-splattered in a flash as they slip. The rest of us arrive safely, to find the stream, still fast-flowing, and some trees of unknown species (aha!). I climb one of these as a gesture of connection, and to surprise the others. I suddenly feel that this is my land, where I belong. Down here it’s deep landscape, heavy with trees and the sound of running water, yet we’re only a few metres from a busy road. People chat and hang out, as if this is an achievement and a destination. I can see what they mean. Then the hail-rain arrives, lashed by the wind, and we climb back up the hill to the church, where Sam, the long-haired vicar with a nose ring, has thankfully already put the soup on the stove. Once we’re all inside he unlocks the door to the interior garden that no one knows about, except him… and me.

There was a time in the late 1920s, when the farmers sold their land to the council and put the money in the bank. It was theirs to sell. That’s how they saw it. And once (it was) sold they soon forgot about it and were not interested in seeing the houses and schools being built over the hillside where their animals used to graze. Or that it was now called Knowle West. They went on a lavish holiday with some of the proceeds, and wondered if they should have held out for more cash per acre.

With modern farming methods and the decline of hedgerows, those same fields would now be edge to edge, making it hard for wildlife and wildflowers to get a grip, not to mention the introduction of chemical fertilisers. So, up here, over these 90 years, the creation and the development of Knowle West BS4 has proved to be a huge bonus for Bristol’s biodiversity. It’s a thriving ecosystem and a green corridor that puts local farmland to shame. The data says it all.

Richard Layzell, July 2020

About Richard

Richard Layzell has been a leading innovator in the fields of live art, video and installation since the 1980s. He has been commissioned by most major public galleries and museums across the UK and completed many international artist residencies. As an experienced facilitator he’s led creative workshops with people of all ages and backgrounds internationally. He has pioneered socially engaged practice and worked with many diverse communities nationally and internationally. His interactive installation Tap Ruffle and Shave was experienced by 100,000 people of all ages and abilities on its UK tour to London, Manchester and Newcastle.

He is currently working on The Naming, a major action research project which challenges and questions how, through categorisation and naming, we distance ourselves from aspects of the natural world and the cultural world.

Richard Layzell is the author of Live Art in Schools, Enhanced Performance (ed. Deborah Levy) and Cream Pages (ed. Joshua Sofaer). He is an honorary associate of the National Review of Live Art and a course leader in fine art at University of the Arts London.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Additionally supported by LUX and The Elephant Trust.




Learning under Lockdown: Online digital skills with Our Digital City

As part of the ongoing mission to equip community organisations with the digital skills necessary for adequate development in the modern world, Our Digital City delivered a series of film making workshops via online video conferencing during the period of national lockdown.

Our Digital City were approached by Avonmouth Community Centre wanting to become self-sufficient in creating video content as a means to engage their local residents. The staff at the centre initially set out to create online video and written instructional content for growing foods from home for the ‘No Child Goes Hungry’ project, with the ability to host content that can be accessed privately and publicly

As a result of early conversations with ACC to further explore their needs, it was clear that they also required support with the planning/storyboarding of content rather than just the shooting and editing. Therefore, the Our Digital City team took a holistic approach and set out the objectives to support the planning, making, editing and sharing of short-films, also offering an additional session for reflection and feedback of the films they produced.  




Member of Staff, Luke, said, “I really enjoyed the training, and although it was challenging at times because of the online format, I thought the training team were very patient, knowledgeable and supportive in helping everyone develop their skills and come away with a finished project. I also had a great laugh along the way too.”  

KWMC receives support from Community Fund

In July 2020 Knowle West Media Centre received a donation of nearly £1,500 from the Direct Line Group  (DLG) Community Fund, after being nominated by a staff member from their Bristol office.

In April 2020, Direct Line Group (DLG) launched their new strategy to ‘Be a Force for Good‘ and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the DLG Community Fund, they are donating £3.5 million to support communities where their largest sites are based, as well as several national charities. 

KWMC was nominated to receive support by Sandra, a Consultant at DLG.  She explained: “When I heard about the Force for Good Campaign in one of our team meetings the first charity that came to mind was Knowle West Media Centre. Throughout these unprecedented times KWMC has adapted to the needs of their participants by providing digital content and enabling people to participate through online platforms.

“For some participants, this is the only contact they have had with people outside of the family unit. KWMC and KWMC: The Factory have used social media to share useful skills, such as how to make face coverings. They have also worked alongside the Knowle West Alliance who have been supporting the vulnerable and isolated.

“I was so pleased that DLG were able to offer support to this fantastic charity that makes a visible difference not just in the local area but also in the wider Bristol community.”

We plan to use the funds donated by DLG to produce friendly and accessible signage that will be displayed at KWMC and other community venues to let people know about the COVID-19 safety measures in place and ensure that they feel safe and welcome when they access public community spaces.  The signs will be produced in the coming weeks, to coincide with some buildings in Knowle West beginning to re-open.

We’d like to say a big thank you to the team at Direct Line Group for their generous donation – and especially to Sandra for nominating us!

If you have a business and would like to find out more about supporting KWMC please visit the Support page. You can also donate online via the link below.



Plans to build eco-friendly homes in Knowle West

The We Can Make housing initiative has moved a step closer to building affordable and sustainable homes in Knowle West: at the end of June 2020 the We Can Make team submitted plans to Bristol City Council to build the first two homes!

We Can Make is a collaboration between KWMC and local residents. We‘ve been working together since 2016 to develop new ways to meet housing need in the community. For the last six months, architects have been working with local families to create the designs for the first two homes.

The We Can Make homes are a bit different from what’s usually offered by commercial house-builders because residents and the community have been closely involved in their design. Residents and the wider community were clear about what they wanted:

Homes that are genuinely affordable: the rent for the We Can Make homes will be set at no more than one third of average household income for Knowle West, and the homes will be owned by a community land trust, so they will be affordable in perpetuity. (Usually “affordable housing” is defined as costing just 20% less than full market rate, which makes it still unaffordable for many people).

Homes that enhance the character of Knowle West that are high quality and help create landmarks the whole community can be proud of. The designs for the first two homes are from award-winning architect practices Studio Bark and White Design, and involve using innovative design and construction methods.

Homes that are good for people and planet: the designs have strong environmental credentials. For example, the home designed by Studio Bark uses 50% less carbon to make than the average UK new home. The designs also make space for nature by including green roofs, a roof garden, bike storage and planting that encourages biodiversity.

Homes that create local jobs: We Can Make is about much more than just delivering housing “units”. It is equally about supporting the wider economic regeneration of Knowle West. Using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), We Can Make is working to develop community fabrication space KWMC: The Factory as a neighbourhood housing factory. Training for local residents and tradespeople is already underway. For example, 15 local people have been taking part in workshops to learn new digital construction skills.

The first two We Can Make homes are for John and Toni.


John’s Story

John has lived and worked in Knowle West for many years. We Can Make has submitted a planning application to build John’s home – a one-person, one-bedroom house built on a micro-site in the rear garden of an existing council house, where Bill and his son live and will continue to live.   John and Bill didn’t know each other before getting involved in We Can Make. They have got to know each other through community events and the proposed approach helps them both:

Bill explains: “My garden is very big and too much for me to look after. This helps me out because I’ll have a much more manageable garden and someone close by to help out if me or my son need it. I like the design [of the We Can Make house] – I think it’s clever and it will work well for us. I love the roof garden too. It means we both have a bit of our own space.”

John says: “I’m in temporary accommodation at the moment, living in a shepherd’s hut. The We Can Make home is brilliant because it’s a secure home of my own I can afford and in a place where I can be close to my family and work. I’ve got construction skills so I can help build it.”

Architects Studio Bark have worked with both John and Bill to develop a design that meets John’s needs for flexibility, storage, and outdoor space, whilst giving both households their own access and privacy, including a hidden roof garden for John.  The house exceeds National Space Standards for a one-person one-bedroom home: it may be built on a ‘microsite’ but it’s not a micro-home.

Toni’s Story

We Can Make has submitted a planning application to build a home for Toni and her daughter. Toni currently lives with her mum and step-dad in Knowle West, where she was born and grew up. Toni has recently had a baby and it is getting a bit crowded in the family home. The new We Can Make home for Toni and her daughter Amancia will be built in the back garden of her parents’ council home.

Toni explains: “I’ve recently had a baby. I want to stay close to my parents who are helping with childcare, but I also want my own space. They have a big garden where we’d like to build a new home for me and my daughter.”

Toni’s mum Mandi says: “Now Toni has Amancia they really need a bit of space of their own but they could never afford a place normally. This is perfect. I really like the design [of the We Can Make house] – it’s nice and green and blends in. I get to keep a good size garden and am nearby to help out with the baby. Everyone wins.”

Toni’s home is designed by architects White Design as a single storey two-bedroom home, with kitchen, bathroom and open-plan living space. The home has a green roof and solar panels. The home exceeds National Space Standards for a two bedroom two-person home. Again, the home will be on a micro-site but it is far from a micro-home.


Next steps

If planning permission is granted, construction of John and Toni’s homes will begin in the Autumn.

We Can Make is supported by the Nationwide Foundation and Homes England to deliver up to 16 similar homes in Knowle West over the next eighteen months. After this pilot phase, the aim is to scale up delivery to help more people in Knowle West and explore how the approach could be used to help people in housing need in other neigbourhoods in Bristol and beyond.

Help make affordable homes for people in Knowle West happen!

You can view the plans for Toni’s home and John’s home on the Bristol City Council Planning Portal. You can leave a comment about the plans – full details of how to do this can be found here.

Your voice matters – positive comments strengthen the case to persuade Bristol City Council to give planning permission for the homes. Showing your support could help to make the We Can Make homes a reality.

See if We Can Make could support you

Can you see yourself in an affordable, eco-friendly home that’s been made in Knowle West?  We have funding to support more families in Knowle West who are in housing need, such as elders wishing to downsize, families with young adult children who need more space, and those caring for relatives.  If you’d like to chat about whether We Can Make could help with your housing situation, e-mail or drop us a message on Facebook or Twitter (@WeCanMakeHomes). Our team would love to hear from you! 

Get involved in building!

We’re looking to put together a team of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and builders of all kinds to help build the homes. We’ll use “modern methods of construction” to create homes that are eco-friendly and innovative as well as affordable. You can register your interest via this online form or e-mail if you have any questions.


We Can Make is a collaboration between Knowle West residents and the digital arts charity Knowle West Media Centre.  We Can Make is supported by The Nationwide Foundation and Homes England.

Image: artist illustration of John’s new home, showing how it fits into the back garden of Bill’s home.  

KWMC receives Emergency Response Funds

This week Arts Council England (ACE) announced it will be supporting Knowle West Media Centre through its Emergency Response Funds – funding for organisations and individuals in need of immediate support due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The last few months have been hugely challenging for the arts and cultural sector – artists, freelancers, and organisations and venues of all sizes. We’re very grateful to ACE for their support of KWMC at this critical time.

We closed our buildings KWMC (Leinster Avenue) and KWMC: The Factory (Filwood Green Business Park) in March 2020, at the beginning of the nation-wide lockdown. Since then, we have had to delay activities and we’ve been unable to generate income through rental of our spaces, digital manufacturing kit and creative facilities – placing the future of the organisation under threat. The Emergency Response Funds support from ACE will cover the income lost during the Spring and Summer months (March to September 2020).

No longer threatened with closure, we look forward to working with ACE, our partners and communities in Knowle West and beyond as we move into a recovery phase – planning and delivering inclusive creative programmes that complement ACE’s Let’s Create vision and support communities, artists and people of all ages to create positive change, particularly those in precarious circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We’d like to thank our fantastic team for the sacrifices they’ve made during this difficult period and for their dedication to KWMC and the artists, communities, makers and young people we work with.  During this period we have had to furlough some of our staff, and others have taken pay cuts. Since March 2020, our team have been working hard to reimagine activities that were planned to take place in-person. This includes digital design workshops, artist meet-ups, creative sessions for young people, talks, and a virtual Work Experience programme for Year 10 students – all of which have happened online.

The power of music: stories from Jump Studios

Knowle West Media Centre’s Jump Studios programme provides opportunities for young people aged 10-25 to experiment with music, develop their technical and creative skills, and explore new careers. Below are a selection of stories from young people who have been part of music-making programmes at KWMC.

Alex – making a musical ‘bucket list’

Alex, 19,  first engaged with Knowle West Media Centre when he attended the Sound Wave music retreat in 2019. During the retreat he learned mixing and mastering techniques to help give his music a more professional sound – which he passed on to a friend who also produces music when he got back! The retreat experience also helped him create a musical ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve and skills to develop further.

Alex says that before the retreat he didn’t engage with many people and wouldn’t share his music with others. He says: “now […] I’m not shy about letting people listen to my music. I can take on feedback and I’m not as critical of myself.”

Josh – trying new instruments and experiences

Josh, 21, got involved in The Male Room – a two-night, three-day retreat that took place in 2019 to support musicians and creatives to develop their craft and examine ideas around modern masculinity.

Josh had recorded an EP before the retreat, but the experience inspired him to record more music and fine-tune what he had already finished. The retreat also provided space for him to experiment with new instruments in a supportive environment. He says: “my main instrument is guitar but I hopped on the bass and tried on keys […] It pushed my skills.”

Since the retreat Josh has become a paid freelance member of KWMC’s Jump Studios team, working with young people to help them develop their skills in arts, media and technology.

Of his new mindset Josh says: “My confidence has grown because when I feel a bit low or anxious I have to remind myself that I did [the retreat] and if I could do that I could do this!”

Elisha – recognising talent and progress

Elisha first came to Knowle West Media Centre in 2018 when she attended the From Her Tracks retreat – a two-night, three-day experience designed to support young women to develop their musical skills and self-confidence.

She says the retreat helped her to realise that “the presence of someone else’s talent isn’t the absence of mine” – and she’s ‘learning to treat myself as a friend and be kinder to myself.’

After the retreat Elisha went on to create content for a local youth magazine, enrolled on a further music course at KWMC to hone her technical skills, and has performed at music events around Bristol.  She’s now planning to get her own equipment and work on an EP or small album.

She says: “I’ve learned to acknowledge my progress. Before I did the From Her Tracks retreat I didn’t actually think that pursuing music or a creative career was an option. It was only after that I thought that this might be worth pursuing.”

Kira – getting stuck in!

Kira, 11, attended the Jump into…Music programme at KWMC during February Half-Term in 2020.  During the practical sessions Kira and the other young people in the group experimented with singing and playing instruments, and learned to use music applications including Sound Trap. At the end of the programme Kira performed her original song for the group – singing and playing guitar – while her friend played drums.

Kira enjoyed her time at KWMC, advising others her age to “do it, be confident and get out there!”  Jump Studios’ Music lead Mike described Kira as ‘confident and always up for collaboration – the song she made has a great message.’

For more information about music opportunities at KWMC contact Mike on 0117 903 0444 or e-mail

From 2018 to 2020 our music programmes for young people were supported by Youth Music.

KWMC selected for new environmental programme

Knowle West Media Centre has been named as one of ten cultural initiatives that will receive support to become more environmentally sustainable.

The Accelerator Programme, from Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle, will provide organisations with space, resources, time and expertise to develop new and innovative approaches to environmental practice. This includes expert mentoring and a residential training programme.

Sustainability has long been vital to KWMC’s work and ethos – from the construction of our strawbale building to our projects with communities.

As part of the Accelerator Programme, we will be exploring how we can support the community of makers and creatives at KWMC: The Factory to adopt more sustainable making practices. This could include increasing Factory members’ understanding of the lifecycles of materials and products, and helping them incorporate circular economy principles into their work, such as reuse, recycling and responsible waste management.

Factory Digital Fabrication Technician Fiona Dowling commented: “I’m really looking forward to immersing myself fully within the Accelerator Programme and identifying ways for us to improve sustainability practices across the training courses, memberships and services we offer at KWMC: The Factory.”

This is the second Accelerator cohort to receive support from Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle. As well as KWMC, the second cohort includes our fellow Bristol organisation Brunel’s SS Great Britain, and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Andrew Ellerby, Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Combined Arts, Arts Council England, said of the programme: “The Arts Council is committed to supporting the cultural sector’s increasing ambition when it comes to addressing climate change, and through our work with Julie’s Bicycle we want to nurture their creative and innovative approaches to sustainability practice.  It’s been fantastic to see the first Accelerator cohort’s projects grow and develop over the past 18 months; the proposals set out by the second cohort are equally exciting and I look forward to seeing what they can achieve.” 

Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England have worked together for over a decade to support cultural organisations in becoming more environmentally sustainable. This collaboration led to policy intervention in 2012 when the Arts Council became the first cultural body in the world to make environmental action part of its funding agreement with National Portfolio Organisations (NPOS).

Keep an eye on @kwmcthefactory on social media to find out more about how we’re putting learning from the Accelerator programme into practice.

Image by Holly Webb.

KWMC supported by business ‘scale up’ initiative

We’re excited to announce that KWMC has been accepted onto a new programme supporting creative businesses in the West of England.

The Creative Scale-Up programme, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, will see £4 million invested across three regions in the UK – the West of England, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands – giving creative businesses bespoke support to help them grow their business and become ready to take on investment.

The West of England Creative Scale-Up programme was launched on 22 January 2020 and includes 15 businesses in its first cohort.

Businesses, including KWMC, will receive a package of tailored business support over six months, including mentoring, facilitated face-to-face peer support, training and workshops. We will also be supported to engage with networks of investors.

Being part of the Creative Scale Up programme will enable us to develop and expand the work of KWMC: The Factory, our micro-manufacturing hub and maker space at Filwood Green Business Park. KWMC: The Factory was established in 2015 and supports a diverse community of creative people, technologists and businesses to develop new skills in digital manufacturing and business development, create and test new products and prototypes, and connect with other makers.

Other businesses on the West of England Creative Scale Up programme include: Arcadia Ltd; Crack Industries Ltd, Luke Jerram Ltd; Trigger Stuff Ltd; Waller&Wood; Cognitive Paths (Cables and Cameras); Complete Control (Uk) Limited; Limina Immersive Ltd; Auroch Digital Ltd; The Wardrobe Theatre CIC; Encounters Festivals Ltd; We Are Anagram Ltd; Visuable Ltd; MAYK Theatre CIC.

Following the launch of the West of England programme, Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, commented: “I want our region to become the go-to place for the creative and cultural sector. We’re already internationally renowned but I want the world to know that the West of England will welcome talented people and businesses with open arms, and help them grow into the big names of the future. That’s what our Creative Scale Up programme is all about.”

There will be two further Creative Scale Up cohorts starting in April and June. Find out more here.

Discounts and deals in 24hr Flash Sale

The 24-hour Culture Flash Sale is back for 2020: for one day only, discounted tickets and offers are available at a host of venues across Bristol and Bath!

These include shows, events, exhibitions, workshops, gigs, talks and plays from over 30 arts organisations and venues.

The sale begins at 10am on Wednesday 15 January and runs until 10am on Thursday 16 January 2020.

Read on for details of discounts on our discounts, as well as offers from other organisations involved in the Culture Flash Sale.

Please note: web pages for booking tickets are now live but discount codes and special deals on free tickets will only be activated at 10am on Wednesday 15 January – if you book before this time the discounts and deals will not apply.

£15 off: Colour, Pattern, Surface course

Love bright patterns and bold colours? Create your own textile designs in this six week course! Learn how to paint with transfer and disperse dyes, screen print with laser-cut stencils, and create designs for digital embroidery.

Deal: £15 off the usual price of £185. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code flashtextiles20
Date: Thursday evenings from 27 February to 2 April 2020. 6.15pm – 8.15pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park

£5 off: Make your own…Laser-cut Jewellery

Design your own jewellery and stand out from the crowd! Learn how to design and make laser-cut pieces in wood and acrylic at this weekend workshop at KWMC: The Factory. Beginners welcome! Ages 16+

Deal: £5 off the usual price of £55. Visit our online shop during the Flash Sale and use the code flashjewellery20
Date: Saturday 1 February, 10am – 2pm
Venue: KWMC: The Factory, Filwood Green Business Park


Free music studio access when you book the Audio Lates course

Audio Lates is a ten-week beginner course that aims to give you the skills to start writing and recording your own music. Learn the basics of digital software including Logic Pro X, MIDI, sampling and synthesisers, and pick up handy hints and tips on mixing and arrangement.

Deal: Book for Audio Lates during the Flash Sale and receive four hours’ free access to the KWMC music studio at the end of the course.
Date: course runs Tuesday evenings from 28 January to 31 March 2020. 6.30 – 9.30pm; free studio access to organised with KWMC at the end of the course.
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue

Free producer support when you register for our January Project Night

Project Night is a free evening every other month for anyone who makes art or creative projects in a community setting. Join other creatives to eat together and share ideas and feedback in a supportive environment. 

Deal: The first four people to reserve their place at the January Project Night during the Flash Sale will also receive a free one-hour session with a KWMC Arts Producer to provide producing advice, guidance or support for a project you’re working on. E-mail after 10am on Wednesday 15 January and quote flashprojectnight20. To claim your free producer session you must attend Project Night in January 2020.
Date: Project Night takes place on Thursday 30 January, 6.30 – 8.30pm; producer support session to be arranged with KWMC at a mutually convenient time (weekdays only).
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue

Free CD when you register for a behind the scenes exhibition tour

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition 100 Years of Knowle West Style with local makers and artist Holly Beasley-Garrigan. The exhibition marks 100 years since the first council estates were built in Bristol and explores what this South Bristol estate has meant to people for over nine decades. The interactive exhibition includes archive film, photography, music, video and more. It includes commissioned work by artists Holly Beasley-Garrigan, George Lovesmith and Lukus Robbins, made in collaboration with local residents.

Deal: Reserve your free ticket to February’s behind the scenes tour during the Flash Sale and receive a free CD by South Bristol artist Kala Chng, whose music features in the exhibition. CDs available while stocks last. One CD per attendee. To claim your free CD you must attend the behind the scenes tour and collect it in person. CDs will not be posted.
Date: Saturday 8 February, 11am – 1pm.
Venue: KWMC, Leinster Avenue

Other deals in Bristol and Bath

Search #CultureFlashSale on social media and read the full list of Flash Sale offers on the Visit Bristol blog.

About the Flash Sale

The Flash Sale is co-ordinated by the Bristol Arts Marketing Network in co-operation with Arts Marketing Bath, Bristol and Bath Cultural Destinations Project, Visit Bristol and Visit Bath. This is the 12th edition of the sale and sees 35 organisations across the two cities taking part.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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