News / KNowle West

Creating positive change in Knowle West

By ellie pipe, Wednesday May 15, 2019

Creatives in Knowle West can play a role in transforming their community with the launch of a new project, Filwood Fantastic.

The south Bristol neighbourhood is one of just 14 across the country to be awarded up to £200,000 as part of a national programme to help people make social, economic or environmental changes that matter to them locally.

In Knowle West, Filwood Community Centre will work with residents to transform spaces in and around its building and support people to develop their own creative projects – and the project will launch with a special mix up party on Thursday.

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Knowle West Media Centre

Makala Cheung, creative director and business manager at Filwood Community Centre, says: “The event aims to ‘mix up’ different people and types of art and see what happens next. If you’re interested in creative things happened in Knowle West or are an artist or creative person making work in the community, then this event is for you.

“We’re looking forward to working with people of all ages over the next three years to make Filwood even more fantastic: having fun, getting to know our neighbours, and making the changes that people have told us they want.”

Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust, the new national £4m Creative Civic Change initiative has been launched in response to an inquiry into the civic role of arts organisations

Community in Partnership Knowle West (CIPKW), the organisation that runs Filwood Community Centre, will work alongside Knowle West Media Centre to deliver a diverse three-year programme in Bristol.

People can take part in workshops to build planters and features to brighten up Filwood Broadway

The centre, located in a former school, already has event space, dance studios, a gym and an art room.

During Filwood Fantastic, people can get involved in activities, ranging from dance, drama and community radio, to building street furniture, lighting and furnishings for the centre and Filwood Broadway.

Residents can also apply to CIPKW for small pots of funding to set up their own group or event.

Melissa Mean, head of arts at Knowle West Media Centre, said: “Knowle West is already full of fantastic people and community energy.

“The Filwood Fantastic project is a great opportunity to tap into that energy and Knowle West Media Centre is excited to be part of the mix. We’ll be helping by bringing in specialist artists and lots of creative tech, like 3D printers and laser cutters, to create some fantastic things with local people.”

Speaking about the new approach to funding community-driven projects, Sarah Benioff, director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “People are at the heart of what we do and we believe it is important for them to get involved, have their say and make the changes they want to see.

“The Creative Civic Change programme is building stronger networks within communities, whilst bringing them together to tackle issues that are not only affecting them individually, but collectively.”

Thursday evening’s event will include circus performances and a showcase of creative projects and art pieces designed by artists and residents working together.

Tickets to the party are free for Knowle West residents and £5 for others. Visit for details.

Read more: The Knowle West community that built a home made of straw to address housing need

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