Current Programmes

** Please note - the Quayside Shanty Festival which was due to take place on 10th September, has been postponed. This will be moved to a new date shortly.


Exeter Canal and Quay Trust (ECQT) promotes and supports a number of programmes to further its charitable aims (see

It will be updating these programmes in Spring 2021 when it adopts its new Vision for 2021-26 (due to commence in April 2021). Preparatory work for this new Vision has identified the following three draft priorities:

(i) In collaboration with partners, to promote The Quay area and its businesses as a vibrant destination for residents and visitors.

(ii) To develop the Custom House as ECQT’s flagship public building for the benefit of people in Exeter, Devon and beyond.

(iii) To ensure that ECQT’s property portfolio remains in beneficial and sustainable occupancy.

ECQT’s current programmes include:

Exeter Custom House

In 2015 ECQT opened the Exeter Custom House as a free heritage attraction. This Grade I listed building, which is managed by Exeter City Council under an agreement with ECQT, is ECQT’s flagship property on Exeter Quay. It contains a visitor information centre and displays relating to the history of the building and Exeter’s maritime past. Exeter Custom House is also the venue for a range of public and cultural events, including Quay Words 2020-22 (see below). Further details can be found at

Cultural Partners Programme 2023-2026

We have launched an open call for two cultural partners to work with us on an exciting programme of activity at the Custom House. The deadline for applications is 1st September 2022. Please download the information pack here. 

Quay Words

With the support of Arts Council England ECQT has appointed Literature Works as its delivery partner for Quay Words, a two-year programme of literature activities focused on Exeter Custom House. Quay Words is promoting the Custom House as a ‘literature hub’ in the context of Exeter as a UNESCO City of Literature. Further details of Literature Works’ Quay Words programming can be found at

Pilot Arts / Heritage Programme 2021-22

ECQT has appointed Honeyscribe ( as creative producers to deliver a pilot programme of arts and heritage activity based at the Custom House and the quay area during 2021 and 2022.

Project Grants

ECQT operates a scheme providing grants of up to £10,000 to organisations creating projects that further ECQT’s aims. Details of the scheme can be found at

Recent grants for projects to be delivered during 2021 include:

  • £10,000 to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum for an Exeter Lego heritage exhibition
  • £3,000 to the Devon and Cornwall Record Society for the publication of a facsimile of an eighteenth century book belonging to an Exeter cloth merchant.
  • £10,000 to Honeyscribe for Herald of Spring, an arts project focused on local wellbeing.
  • £7,609 to Exeter Northcott Theatre for a new dramatic work, to be performed by the Exeter Northcott Young Company, treating Exeter’s links with the transatlantic slave trade.


From time to time ECQT sponsors one-off cultural commissions. The most recent of these has been awarded to Brendan Barry to install a camera obscura and a photographic exhibition in Exeter Custom House during Heritage Open Days in September 2020. See

Programmes Coordination

In August 2021 ECQT appointed Anna Gilroy as its part-time Programmes Coordinator.

Anna can be contacted at