The Visual Arts Creative Development programme, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation supported established visual artists, makers, designers, curators and critical writers. Each individual was awarded a six-week residency and the opportunity to develop new work at Cove Park.

In 2009, residencies under this programme were awarded to visual artists Melanie Counsell, Kit Craig, Gemma Holt and Ciara Phillips and curators/art writers Bart van der Heide, Moira Jeffrey and Mark Sladen.