We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Backstage Centre has had a very busy year with our clients, and the wonderful activities, events and projects around the Production Park, and in our wider community has seen some wonderful work. Here we dip into a few moments that grabbed our attention over tyhe last 12 months.

We would like to pass on the season’s greetings from everyone here at the Backstage Centre. As we are very quickly approaching Christmas Day and the New Year, we hope that whatever you have planned you are able to relax, unwind and enjoy more than the odd mince pie!  

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank all our customers from the worlds of theatre, fashion, music, television, and film. To our education partners, students, and alumni at the University Centre South Essex, and at South Essex College we wish you all a safe and fiendishly fabulous festive break and congratulate you for the work you have produced on your courses. The Backstage Centre will have a short but well-earned break as we tidy up the building in preparation for our clients returning in January.

Photo: FdA/BA (Hons) Hair and Makeup Design and Application for Production

We also want to wish all our industry organisations a prosperous 2023, and to thank the good and great for all their support, advice, help and much more over the last 12 months.

2022 has seen some extraordinary opportunities for the coming together of the creative and cultural world. The Arts & Culture Network has been a pleasure to support, and with a membership of over 16,000 worldwide, it is a testament to how important the connection between diverse people is. Thank you, Mark Walmsley FRSA for creating this group.

To Richard Woods, and the team at CREATEBritain, it has been a rollercoaster year, and the positive vibe I hear about the work you do to better the employability route for the creative industries workforce is excellent.

I look forward to picking up conversations again in the New Year as we begin some new adventures, and continue to develop existing projects, such as the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, our partnership with Yamaha Music (UK & Europe), the Dickens Theatre Company, working with the training steering groups such as Skillscene, the ABTT.VIP, and more.

We also want to celebrate the work of our local Arts, business, education, and community groups across Essex, and in particular to Hi Ching at Thurrock Film Festival, the Essex Film Collective, the Cornerstone Employer Hub, Thurrock Music Education Hub, Thurrock Council, HHPP Trust, Thurrock LCEP, SECEN, Kinetika, METAL, Royal Opera House Thurrock, Tilbury on The Thames Trust, the University of the Arts London, High House Community Group and the Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd.

An absolute highlight recently has been the extraordinary work from our ACME studio neighbour, Evewright Studio, and the fabulous installation on the Tilbury Walkway Bridge to help mark the arrival of our Windrush generation.

Other friends and neighbours at High House Production Park and from the Purfleet-onThames community joined forces with students and staff from South Essex College and the University Centre South Essex to create a stunning Platinum Jubilee Pageant to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s landmark year as our monarch.

These are some of the highlights, and we look forward to more over 2023.

Have a warm, safe and happy Christmas!