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East Quay, Watchet

In September 2021, Onion Collective CIC opened East Quay—a tangible, piratical incarnation of what could be different. It shows that communities can come together to build their own future. It is run as a social enterprise with connection, imagination, and culture at its heart. It is a brave piece of community and cultural infrastructure that is about building imagination, purpose, connection and belonging.


East Quay is the result of an 8-year community-led effort to demonstrate how the future can be reimagined now. It comprises galleries, artist studios, workshops, a paper mill, print studio, restaurant, learning space and places to stay. It delivers events, exhibitions, and opportunities that convene people, support them to create and imagine, and seeks to demonstrate a tangible example of the next economy in action. It demonstrates how even in the most ‘left-behind’ of places, communal belief, commitment and hope can reframe what is possible and bring our collective dreaming into practice. Klinenburg, in his excellent book on how social infrastructure is critical to societal wellbeing, characterises connected spaces as ‘palaces for the people’—it is what we hope East Quay will become. 


The best way to find out more about what is happening at East Quay is to visit the website, follow us on socials or sign up to our newsletter.

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