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Countrystyle and the Future Foundry, a Profit for Purpose Company with the aim to encourage excitement, diversity and innovation with young artists, introducing the wealth of material available in the circular economy to an eager group of young artists.

Future Foundry teaches economic survival skills, freelancing, entrepreneurial and self-employment skills, encourage and promote lifelong learning and career development through non-traditional routes. Bringing young people together with communities helps them to progress and promote the creative industries.

Following Countrystyle’s commitment to the environment and the local community, the young entrepreneurs visited the Ridham facility to see the extent of the volume of material available for their projects to help inspire them in new creative uses for materials including plastic.

Shown round by Operations Manager Chris Wallace and Head of Sales and Marketing, Sonya Cragg, the group were shown the full facility including the Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) processing line, the Mixed Recycling Facility (MRF) in development and the new plasterboard facility.

Commenting on the visit, Sonya said: “it was a really interesting day meeting the artists and showing them the scale of waste we handle. I think it was an eye opening experience to see the volume of materials that can be used for projects such as theirs and what we do at Countrystyle to ensure that it doesn’t go to landfill”.

What is the Circular Kent Project?

One of the projects launched by Future Foundry is the Circular Kent, which draws on the principles of the Circular Economy to build a Kent wide youth and community programme. Its objective is to raise awareness of global issues regarding waste and resource depletion and challenge people to find creative solutions which are relevant to Kent communities but which might also inform wider national and international thinking and influence policy change.

A spokesperson from Future Foundry said: “The Future Foundry is working in partnership with both the Culture and Waste departments at Kent County Council and Countrystyle Recycling, one of the county’s leading waste management company, to develop this highly innovative social value programme. Working with towns and communities across the county, Circular Kent aims to translate that technical and academic knowledge into community facing practical activities and projects, to find what specific actions will inspire and engage specific communities”.

After the visit, the budding artist designed and continued their projects revolving around the circular economy and applied what they had learnt for a final presentation. Attending on behalf of Countrystyle, Chairman Trevor Heathcote and Sonya Cragg were invited to see the final artwork and projects.

Speaking on the day, Trevor commented: “It has been interesting meeting the young artists and buzzing entrepreneurs. We were amazed at the talent on display for this final session and we are really proud to have been part of this project”

“It’s great to see a budding entrepreneurial interest in the young people of today. Projects like these can keep the circular economy going, like we do at Countrystyle. From what Sonya and I saw at the presentations, they have really embraced it.  No matter the adversity we implore them to continue in their passions and overcome any obstacles to continue on this journey”.


For more about the Future Foundry project, see their YouTube site at