Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund provides £1.15m regeneration boost for 51 East London community and creative projects

14 March 2022
By Amy Zamarripa Solis

Over 8,000 people in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlet and Waltham Forest will benefit from community grants awarded this March through the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, a £10 million five-year programme funded by Westfield Stratford City and the official community programme/charity partner for East Bank.

Now in its second year, the Fund has awarded a total of £1,151,194 in 51 grants to a wide range of projects– from community facilities for cycling, skateboarding and local creative businesses to talent development programmes for young people– through its Medium, Large and Capital Grant schemes. Grants range from £3k to £60k. The Fund aims to develop new employment, learning and business skills and entrepreneurial opportunities and in particular support to young people.

In Year 2, community grant awards breakdown as follows:

  • Medium Grant Scheme — 29 projects awarded a total of £385,243
  • Large Grant scheme — 11 projects awarded a total of £482,746
  • Capital Grant scheme — 11 projects awarded a total of £268,121

A few examples of Medium and Large Grant projects include:

  • A theatre project for severely disadvantaged and ‘at risk’ young people aged 11–18 from Tower Hamlets and Newham (Chain Reaction)
  • Training and employment programme for young people from marginalised communities in Hackney and Tower Hamlets (YUAF)
  • Creative learning and employment programme using virtual reality art in Newham and Waltham Forest (Project Zero WF)

A few Capital Grant projects include:

  • LGBTQI+ community run space in Hackney (Friends of Joiners Arms)
  • Creative community studio and tech library in Tower Hamlets (Catalyst In Communities)
  • Cycling and cycle maintenance space in Waltham Forest (COG)

Collectively the projects will create 360 jobs and 8,000 learning opportunities, which will include paid work experiences and internships.

Stratford-based charity Foundation for Future London is a major funder, fundraiser and creative placemaker for the East London communities surrounding the new East Bank cultural quarter being developed on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

In partnership with Westfield Stratford City, Foundation for Future London launched the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund in 2021 to provide new jobs, learning, training and educational programmes for the people and communities of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest through the means of arts, culture, innovation, public realm and creative placemaking.

The Fund aims to focus on equality and social inclusion by supporting young people and giving priority to locally rooted charities and community focussed initiatives. It also provides ongoing feedback, training and capacity building for unsuccessful applicants, as well as those who have not applied before or have received a grant.

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO, Foundation for Future London says: “Now in our second year of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, we are pleased to see the range of diverse people, programmes and organisations being supported to deliver projects that are community led and respond to local need and knowledge. We have been able to offer more support through our new capacity building programme, nurturing new and ideas as well as supporting long term development. We have also invested in strong projects involving our East Bank partners, that align with local priorities and strategies. These funded projects demonstrate how the Foundation for Future London delivers on equitable investment in people, place, art, culture and the local economy for East London.”

Alyson Hodkinson, General Manager, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield says: “We are delighted to see the tangible impact that the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund is making in its second year, and we are proud to be playing an active role in supporting the people and places of East London. The grants awarded this month means that 8,000 people in our local community are being supported and provided with opportunities for learning, training and new jobs, all of which are fundamental to create a strong, balanced community and sustainable future.”

Year 3 of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund will open in Summer 2022 and will provide new free online workshops and training as part of its Capacity Building Programme to support local communities and people.

For more information on the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, see


Image credit: Certain Blacks

Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund – Year 2 Grant recipients

Medium Grant Scheme

  1. Aip Community, Community Youth Board
  2. Arcola Theatre, Arcola Mental Health Community Theatre Company
  3. British Bangladeshi Fashion Council, Opening Doors to the Fashion Industry
  4. Buxton School, Buxton Garden Transformation Project
  5. Cardboard Citizens, Workshops Programme and Outreach
  6. Certain Blacks, Ensemble Festival Community Plus
  7. Chain Reaction, Chain Reaction Youth Theatre (CRYT)
  8. Climate Change All Change, CCAC Coppermill Co-design Climate Change Collaboration
  9. East London Cares, Learning and Connecting
  10. Four Corners, Working in Film
  11. Intermission Youth, Tunmarsh PRU Drama Workshop Programme 2022-2023
  12. Makeda Makes, READING ALLOWED / MY HOOD
  13. Mediorite, CONNECT
  14. Ministry of Stories, Your Story Starts Here
  15. More Life Home CIC, Each One Teach One Recycle
  16. Newham Music, Newham’s NextGen Music Creatives
  17. Rosetta Art Centre CIO, Rosetta Arts Artists’ Accelerator Year 2
  18. S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys CIC, S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys Alumni Upskilling Project
  19. Skaped, Community Building & Artivisim
  20. Streets of Growth, VisionXCite
  21. The Literacy Pirates, A Year of Creative Learning Adventures
  22. The Outrnners, The Outunners – Run Your Career Programme 2022
  23. The People Speak, That’s The East We Can Do (TTEWCD)
  24. The Yard Theatre Limited, The Yard Theatre: Future Technicians Programme
  25. UCL Special Collections, The New Curators Project
  26. UNDR LNDN, British South Asian Emerging Filmmakers Hub
  27. V&A East with Stratford Youth Zone, V&A East MAKE Space with Stratford Youth Zone
  28. Young London Print Prize, Young London Print Prize
  29. Young Urban Arts Foundation, YUAF Futures

Vicky Price, Head of Outreach, UCL Special Collections, Library Services said: “With this support from Foundation for Future London, we will be able to bring in expertise from across the sector, to invest in the exhibition that participants create and we will be able to document the project in film and photography for the first time!  It will make a huge difference to participants’ experience with The New Curators Project.”

Sarah Smit, Artistic Director, Chain Reaction said: “This grant will provide young people across East London with access to high quality, fully funded creative opportunities. Young people will learn new skills and develop confidence, whilst working together to make a positive difference to their communities”

Matt Bell, Co-founder of the Young London Print Prize said: “Global warming isn’t some far-away issue for the communities we work with. If you’re growing up in East London, it may dominate your future. Art is a brilliant way to involve young people in the debate and this funding will mean hundreds more young Londoners find their voice through the medium of printmaking.”

Kerry O’Brien, CEO, YUAF: “This grant will allow us to provide young people with opportunities to progress into desirable workplaces and/or help them gain a qualification, skill, or training that leads to improved possibilities.  We want to build a support system and self-belief within the youth community to help raise their aspirations.”

Sanaz Amidi CEO of Rosetta Arts, said: “Rosetta Arts is delighted to receive Foundation for Future London‘s support for our Artist Accelerator Scheme for the second year running. The programme is designed in recognition of real barriers that east London artists from diverse backgrounds face, especially through the COVID pandemic. We’re excited to use our networks, facilities and knowledge to support the careers of these talented and driven artists.”

Large Grant Scheme

  1. Catalyst In Communities, ReGo 2.0
  2. East London Dance, The Producers House
  3. Loop Labs, Flourish
  4. PEER, PEER Ambassadors and PEER Notices
  5. Project Zero WF, Virtual Futures
  6. Rosetta Art Centre CIO, Creative Newham’s Cultural Producers
  7. Ruff Sqwad Arts Foundation, RSAF Full Clip Winternship
  8. The Line Art Walk, Visible / Invisible – Co-curation and Commission
  9. The Samosa Media Charity, More in Common Than Divides Us
  10. Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford East: A Civic Hub
  11. UD Music Foundation, United Development

Capital Grant Scheme

  1. A.Xodus
  2. Catalyst In Communities
  3. COG
  4. Eastside
  5. Friends of Joiners Arms
  6. Megzi Pearls
  7. NAID
  8. Purple Moon
  9. Roman Road Trust
  10. Skaped
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Amy Zamarripa Solis

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