Economic Regeneration & Leisure Committee

19 April 2022


2022 – 23 Events Plan


Final Decision-Maker

Economic Regeneration & Leisure Committee

Lead Head of Service

John Foster, Head of Regeneration & Economic Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Ann-Marie Langley, Arts & Culture Officer



Wards affected



Executive Summary


This report outlines all of the events we are planning to deliver during the 2022/23 financial year utilising the new Arts & Culture budget, other funding sources and officer time.


Purpose of Report





This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That this report be noted






Economic Regeneration & Leisure Committee

19 April 2022

2022 – 23 Events Plan







Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan objectives are:


·         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

·         Safe, Clean and Green

·         Homes and Communities

·         A Thriving Place


·         Accepting the recommendation will materially improve the Council’s ability to achieve ‘A Thriving Place’ through delivering a variety of high quality arts and cultural events.

Head of Regeneration & Economic Development

Cross Cutting Objectives

The four cross-cutting objectives are:


·         Heritage is Respected

·         Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced

·         Deprivation and Social Mobility is Improved

·         Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability is respected


The report recommendation supports the achievement of the ‘Heritage is Respected’ cross-cutting objective by raising awareness of the town’s history and heritage through specific events.


The report recommendation supports the achievement of the ‘Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced’ cross-cutting objective by helping to reduce social isolation and delivering improvements in physical and mental health for target groups through participation in arts events and activities.

Head of Regeneration & Economic Development

Risk Management

Refer to paragraph 5 of the report


Head of Regeneration & Economic Development


The proposals set out in the recommendation are all within already approved budgetary headings and so need no new funding for implementation.


Section 151 Officer & Finance Team


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

Head of Regeneration & Economic Development


Acting on the recommendations in line with any necessary consents or licenses is within the council’s powers.

Team Leader, Contracts & Commissioning and Property & Regeneration

Privacy and Data Protection

Accepting the recommendations will increase the volume of data held by the Council.  We will hold that data in line with our retention schedules.


Policy and Information Team


The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment


Policy & Information Manager

Public Health



We recognise that the recommendations will have a positive impact on population health or that of individuals.

Public Health Officer

Crime and Disorder

The recommendation of this report has no impact on Crime and Disorder

Head of Regeneration & Economic Development


On accepting the recommendations, the Council will then follow procurement exercises for delivery of events. We will complete those exercises in line with financial procedure rules.

Head of Regeneration & Economic Development;  Section 151 Officer

Biodiversity and Climate Change

The implications of this report on biodiversity and climate change have been considered and action should be taken to ensure events are plastic free and minimise single use products, utilise sustainable vendors, consider public transportation options to access events, and encourage recycling and reuse

Biodiversity and Climate Change Officer




2.1     This report outlines the programme of events being planned for the 2022-23 financial year. There are two categories of event, those being fully funded by MBC and those being funded through other sources but where MBC officers are providing support. The programme is attached at Appendix 1.


2.2     A second programme is attached at Appendix 2 which includes details of all other known commercial/charitable events planned for this financial year, to demonstrate the full number and type of events that will be taking place.


Events being funded/supported by MBC:


2.3     Elmer on Tour – Elmer will visit 7 rural libraries around the borough (4 weeks in 4 locations and 2 weeks in 3 others). At the 4 main locations we will offer a free arts workshop for the local community, led by local artists. Each library will be encouraged to offer additional events/activities while Elmer is with them.


2.4     Proms in the Park – this will have a Jubilee theme. It is managed by Parkwood Leisure as part of their contract. It is funded entirely through sponsorship from Weston Homes but with support from the Visitor Economy & Events team, including all marketing.


2.5     Platinum Jubilee Tea Party – organised by the Communications team. 70 invited guests, who were born in 1952, will join the Mayor for afternoon tea in Jubilee Square to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.


2.6     Street Festival – building on the success of last year’s Fusion Festival event, this will offer a mix of performances and activities around the town centre. Our ambition is to further develop this into a full-scale Arts Carnival and Parade which can be held bi-annually, starting in July 2023.


2.7     Bandstand concerts – a mix of contemporary and traditional live music from local bands and performers.


2.8     Youth theatre workshops – these will offer a mix of drama and dance with two sessions per day to maximise participation. One of the sessions will be dedicated to neuro-diverse participants.


2.9     Art in the Park – a week of art workshops in Brenchley Gardens. Two sessions per day using a variety of mediums (acrylics, watercolours, charcoal, pastels and street art)


2.10  Outdoor theatre - we are hoping to bring a production to the amphitheatre in August, which will also be delivered at Cobtree Manor Park in September. Tickets will be subsidised to help cover the costs of delivery.


2.11  Hidden Histories event – a follow-up to the 2021 event including more geophysical survey and potentially a couple of ‘test pits’ to confirm findings from last year’s survey. Public engagement activities and an invitation to sign up to take part in a larger project being planned for 2023 (subject to a successful funding bid).


2.12  Talk of the Town - a live-action history event, working with the Hazlitt Youth Theatre and members of the community. Characters and events from Maidstone’s past will be researched and brought to life through dramatic performances as part of the national Heritage Open Days Festival.


2.13  Community Mela – organised and delivered by Cohesion Plus with a financial contribution from MBC. Officer time from the Visitor Economy & Events team on the event management, plus additional marketing support.


2.14  Walking Festival – organised by the Visitor Economy and Events team. The event is an action from the Destination Management plan, originally planned for 2020. A launch event was held on 26th March and the main festival will take place over 3 days, in partnership with a number of other organisations. 


2.15  Chinese New Year – organised and managed by Maidstone Cultural Group and Cohesion Plus. Financial contribution from MBC and officer support.





3.1     That this report be noted






4.1     That this report be noted




5.       RISK

5.1     This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.





6.1     The events programme builds on the series of successful events delivered in 2021, including the Fusion Festival, bandstand concerts and amphitheatre workshops.


6.2     The Fusion Festival contributed to a 7% increase in footfall to the town centre that week, and a 10% increase compared to the previous Saturday.


6.3     The 5 bandstand concerts attracted over 100 people to each event; more than 50 children and families enjoyed the workshops at the amphitheatre.


6.4     Members of the ERL committee have expressed a desire to see a greater number and variety of events being delivered in the town centre.


6.5     In January 2020 ERL Committee resolved to give Kent Equality Cohesion Council a grant of £5,000 per year for three years to run the Mela, starting in 2020. Due to the pandemic the event did not take place in 2020, so the three years started in 2021. 






7.1     The Arts & Culture Officer will work closely with the Communications team to ensure all events and activities are well promoted and advertised across all available media (print and online). Regular meetings will be held to discuss progress and any additional marketing support that may be required for individual events/activities.






The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix 1: 2022-23 MBC Events Programme

·         Appendix 2: 2022-23 FULL Events Programme