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Map with markers showing where CCC projects took place across the country. Knowle West is in the south west and highlighted with a pink marker.Knowle West is a council estate in south Bristol and although it’s an economically deprived area it also has a strong sense of community. The area was struggling from a lack of investment and its regeneration was long-awaited. Despite this, as local residents, we are proud to be from Knowle West and we wanted to see our community thrive.

Transforming a high street

Filwood Fantastic was a Creative Civic Change project which took place in Knowle West. As the local people behind the project, we care so much about our area and wanted to transform our community into a vibrant destination.

We came together to transform local spaces using creativity to connect people, grow local pride, change perceptions about the area and nurture, support and showcase local creative talents.

The project took place at Filwood Community Centre, a space we feel proud to have completely transformed. Alongside this, we brought positive change to the high street where the centre is based, Filwood Broadway, turning it into a cultural hub where everybody has a chance to shine.

I feel like everyone should know the good bits of Knowle West because it gets a lot of bad press, but it’s a good area to live in and I love it here.”
Hayley Edwards, local resident

How creativity changed our community

With funding from Creative Civic Change, we ran a series of creative activities and events at Filwood Community Centre, on Filwood Broadway and throughout the local area. Our activities brought in new partners and match funding to fund classes in dance, drama and circus at the Centre, giving local young people the chance to explore something new.

We also funded events such as lantern parades, the annual Knowle West Fest and seed funded the monthly Filwood Community Market, all showcasing the community in a positive light.

Through our small grants scheme, we funded micro-creative projects in the community and worked with more than 100 artists within Knowle West over the course of the project, including a badge maker to use in workshops for her social enterprise Brislexic, which celebrates neurodiversity

Lantern parade on Filwood high street

We have hosted three lantern parades over the course of the programme, shining a light on Knowle West.

Claudia’s story

Claudia Collins, a local resident and artist, first received a small grant from us so she could buy a badge maker to use at the Filwood Community Market. A few months later, during lockdown, we funded another project of hers, Knowle West Beaches.

Soon Claudia started working for Filwood Fantastic as the Creative engagement officer and has continued to run creative projects in the community, being a positive champion for Knowle West.  

Knowle West sometimes has a bad reputation. But I think recognising what is here, and that it is kind, is changing that.” Claudia Collins, local artist

Local market in Filwood

We have supported the Filwood Community Market, which has helped breathe fresh life into our local high street, Filwood Broadway.

Looking to the future

In the future, we hope Knowle West will continue to be a creative hotspot with plenty of community activities and events to bring light and joy to people’s lives.

Hollywood is revered as this amazing place where all the stars are and anything can happen, and that’s where you go to achieve your dreams … so why can’t Filwood be as well!?”
Local resident

To mark the end of our three-year Creative Civic Change journey, we commissioned a zine which tells the story of Filwood Fantastic and the positive impact it has had on our community. You can read the zine here.

See Filwood Fantastic in action