Cultural Organisation


Southend-on-sea, United Kingdom


  • Chalkwell Hall
  • Chalkwell Park, Chalkwell Ave
  • Southend-on-sea
  • Essex
  • SS08NB
  • United Kingdom

Opening times

Mon - Fri 9-5pm


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Founded in London in 2002 by Jude Kelly OBE working with the current Artistic Director, Colette Bailey since inception, Metal is an arts charity that has been active in Liverpool since 2004, in Southend-on-Sea since 2007 and in Peterborough since 2012.


In 2009, we renovated the previously unused Chalkwell Hall to become our base in Southend-on-Sea and a low carbon space for artists-in-residence, events and creative conversation.

We host two programmes for Artists in Residence. The first, Time and Space, is open to any artist working in any discipline to apply to stay at Metal for up to 20 days to develop their practice, work in collaboration or further a project. Our International Programme invites established artists from around the globe to the UK, we fundraise for this programme to enable artists to receive a fee and travel support. Up to 12 International Residencies are awarded annually bringing new cultural perspectives and connections to our programme and creating opportunities and networks for UK artists abroad.

Our central aim is to provide the environment and support to encourage artists to make confident new works that stretch their practice. We emphasise freedom to experiment and explore without pre-prescribed outcome whilst encouraging conversation, collaboration and a sharing of knowledge across disciplines, communities and sectors. We believe this forges new thoughts and ideas that contribute in specific ways to the places where we are based.

Alongside the residencies, Chalkwell Hall is well-use for a wide range of events, exhibitions, workshops, development and educational activities with people of all ages and from all walks of life. A key part of our activities is encouraging conversations with the wider communities of Southend and South Essex, celebrating the arts, exploring new projects and discovering creative opportunities.

Our current regular programme includes Village Green, a music and arts festival that attracts around 20,000 visitors each year; Village Green Next Generation, a festival exclusively for the school pupils of Southend; a multidisciplinary festival, Estuary that had its first edition in 2016; Metal Art School operates art classes, courses and creative sessions for people of all ages; NetPark, the world’s first Digital Art Park; NetPark Wellbeing Project, short courses and sessions to encourage positive mental health and ongoing Culture LABs, our hot-house talent development weeks for artists of different disciplines.

Associated exhibitions and events

Exhibiting artists