The Creative Quarter is close to the sea from where one can see France and is only 57 minutes from London by train. While the rents are affordable, the buildings are a mix of the restored historic and designer contemporary.
It is inhabited by hundreds of creative people ranging from international brand companies to sixth form students, from designers to makers, from artists to musicians. These people create a community that supports each other’s creativity and businesses.
All this makes Folkestone a great place to study, work, visit, play and, above all, to live.
The Creative Foundation facilitates this by promoting the area both nationally and locally, enabling the community to flourish. This includes providing events, ensuring the Quarter is sustainable through providing a progressive vision, an affordable space with opportunities for growth.
The Creative Foundation:
- Seeks, selects, nurtures and loves our tenants.
- Loves its portfolio of buildings respectful of their heritage, providing a range of spaces for different activities.
- Brings in investment and partners into the area and invests in its buildings.
- Delivers a vibrant venue, Quarterhouse, for families, young people and adults to enjoy performance, dance, music and comedy.
- Provides Artworks on its streets by internationally important artists.
The area has become a prime visitor attraction for Folkestone, Kent and the South East and is an example of best practice for creatively-led regeneration.
Many of our properties in the Old High Street and Tontine Street were formerly retail units and we have preserved their shop fronts for creative retailers to take on these spaces. Shane Record for example, was one of our first tenants and recently celebrated his tenth year with a gallery at the top of The Old High Street.
Hidden Track Studios is a custom-built recording studio that offers the same level of functionality and quality associated with world class studios, in a small footprint and at affordable rates. And, since we are on the subject of music, Mike runs a brilliant music shop Plectrums, Pens And Paints that specialises in guitars, amplification, brass, woodwind, ethnic and stringed instruments.
The creative industries are a vital part of the Creative Quarter ‘ecology’ and we are pleased to host some major players in this sector. Cognitive Media is an animation studio, which helps people discover and learn new things with the help of storytelling, drawing and animation. You may know them from their work on the RSA Animates series and, more recently, their collaboration with TED-Ed. Others include Progress, a marketing, communications and advertising agency, as well as Screen South, the Regional Screen Agency for the South East of England. They promote the region’s talent, support opportunities for regional crew, facilities and locations, as well as presenting exciting film and entertainment to new audiences by enhancing access to festivals, exhibition and regional archives.
We also provide a home for businesses that support our creative community, such as bars and cafes. Kipps’ Alehouse Bar has a lively programme of evening events and is open daily serving some of the finest beers, ales and snacks around. Beano’s is a wee gem in Tontine Street, one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the region. And, if you are a coffee fanatic, then look no further than Steep Street Coffee House. Inspiring Interiors is an interior design team who work on projects from small domestic to large commercial and bring a homely feel to the Old High Street.
We also offer a number of high quality residential flats, typically with one or two bedrooms, let unfurnished to creative individuals who would like to be involved in the Creative Quarter community. A number of our flats and units also offer studio space alongside living accommodation for artists that wish to live and work from home. This is a popular choice for many of our artists, such as Charlotte Harris, Dee Taylor, Alan Smith, and Malcolm Allen, who all moved here to be part of the emerging art scene in Folkestone.
Alongside the shops, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants the Creative Quarter is also home to the Glassworks Sixth Form Centre, Quarterhouse with its vibrant programme of theatre, comedy, music and home to the annual Folkestone Book Festival, as well as The Cube, Kent County Council’s Adult Education Centre. Every 3 years, the Creative Foundation stages one of the biggest visual art exhibitions nationally and internationally, the Folkestone Triennial, that has helped establish the reputation of Folkestone as a creative town, showcasing quality art from around the world. Look out for the next one in 2017!