Here to stay
Updated: Feb 14
Herne Bay creative space celebrates 10 years with the purchase of Beach
House for the community.
The story goes like this...
From its beginnings as a temporary pop-up venture, with only an annual lease,
Beach Creative – a creative space with a social purpose in Herne Bay - has
secured its future, and the continued enrichment of local people’s lives, for
years to come.
With the constraints of its lease, Beach Creative’s potential for further
development was seriously limited; and when Canterbury City Council decided
to sell the property in May 2021, it looked as though the end was in sight for the
A campaign to raise the purchase price began, but it was not looking promising,
post-pandemic and with the rising cost of living. An anonymous benefactor came to the rescue, putting up the money to purchase the building for the community, and secure the future of Beach Creative. Funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has enabled the Beach Creative team to develop a feasible plan for the improvement of Beach House,
and to strengthen its position to apply for future grants to implement the plan.
The historic Beach House was built in 1899 to provide offices and a home to the local gas manager and his family. It is one of only two sites in the country remaining, where both the Gas Company building and Retort (now the Hippodrome opposite) are still in existence.
Over the past ten years Beach Creative has established itself as a community centre for creativity and wellbeing with the passionate aim of opening up free or low-cost opportunities, not just for artists but for whole community. The focus for the future will have environmental responsibility, social inclusion and wellbeing at its heart.
With over 25 diverse exhibitions and 16000 visitors through the doors each year, Beach Creative and its in-house café TOAST has become the beating heart of Herne Bay linking closely with other established charitable social organisations and businesses across the District in a collective aim to continue to improve Herne Bay and ensure it is a vibrant and caring place to live, work and visit. Beach Creative has developed partnerships with local schools and universities delivering projects for all age groups from primary school children to
senior citizens prioritising those groups who are least able to pay.