New Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund launches small grant scheme

25 September 2020
By Amy Zamarripa Solis

A small grant scheme to kickstart projects, business and start ups and people’s employment opportunities through skills and qualifications in the boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest opens this August.

The Small Grant Scheme, part of the new Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, will offer grants between £1,000 and £5,000 to fund projects and activities centered around arts, culture, innovation or creative placemaking that focus on education, skills or training.

The fund will open on 19 August 2020 and will accept applications until 28 September 2020. The fund positively encourages applications from marginalised communities. Individuals, community groups, and small businesses and organisations can apply.

The Small Grant Scheme is funded by Westfield Stratford City and is part of the new Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, an ambitious five-year programme that will invest £10 million in to local communities of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest, delivered by Stratford-based charity Foundation for Future London.

Westfield Stratford City’s £10m sponsorship of this programme was announced in July 2019 and the Small Grant Scheme is the first in a series of funds that will be available to people and organisations in East London.

The Small Grant Scheme aims to support projects in arts, culture, innovation or creative placemaking that:

  • Grow new ideas

  • Encourage business start ups and new community projects

  • Develop new business ideas

  • Develop existing projects and businesses

  • Help people gain a qualification, skill or training that leads to improved possibilities

  • Improve health and wellbeing, community sustainability

  • Reflect and/or showcase community heritage, culture and diversity

  • Counteract impacts of COVID-19 and support resilience

Alyson Hodkinson, General Manager, Westfield Stratford City says:

“Westfield Stratford City is proud to be the Founding Partner and Official Sponsor for the Creative Futures Fund. We are delighted to be supporting local talent, providing access to new career opportunities and important training for people with big ideas within our communities. Westfield Stratford City sits at the heart of the East London and we welcome many creative and entrepreneurial visitors through our doors every day. The Small Grants Scheme will bring these great ideas to fruition as our community continues to become a key destination in the capital.”

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, says:

“Supporting local creativity is at the heart of our East Bank vision. Culture is part of our DNA in London and will play a key role in our economic recovery from Covid-19 — that’s why it is more important than ever we get behind it. This fund will be a real boost to grassroots projects in east London, supporting local talent ahead of East Bank opening its doors in a few years’ time.”

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO, Foundation for Future London says:

“Investing in diverse communities, people, and businesses is at the heart of Foundation for Future London’s work. With the significant support of Westfield Stratford City, the new ‘Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund’ we are pleased to kickstart the small grant scheme during these difficult times to support local economies, jobs, skills and places.”

Sarah Nelson, Programmes and Communications Director, Foundation for Future London says:

“The Small Grant Scheme is a great opportunity for local people in East London to realise their dream job, project or business idea. The funding can help with your marketing, test out business ideas, get mentoring or professional advice or even get qualifications. Apply now to start or continue your journey in the arts, culture, innovation or creative sector.”

Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Funds Small Grant Scheme, is open now until 28 September 2020. For more information and to apply, please see


Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund Small Grant Scheme

19 August 2020: Portal opens for applications
Midday on 28 September 2020: Final deadline for applications
Mid November 2020: Announce successful applicants
Mid November 2021: Funded projects come to an end

Further information on applying:
Our grants can be used to fund arts, culture, innovation or creative placemaking projects and activities taking place in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Projects must have local needs of people in one or several of the four boroughs at its heart. They should focus on local people’s skills and qualifications through education, training or participation in new project ideas, startups and community initiatives focused on arts, culture, innovation or creative placemaking.

Examples of things we will fund:

Research and development
Small events – festivals, workshops, exhibitions, talks, showcases
Community engagement or grassroots dialogue
Creative learning
Professional network building and development
Learning and training
Mentoring and coaching
Audience development
Support capacity building
Improve access for SEN/D provision (Special Education Needs and Disability)
Improve access for NEET training (Not in Employment, Education or Training)
Extracurricular initiatives in schools or young people safe spaces
Inclusivity and diversity-led programmes
Resilience to COVID-19 such as reopening, audience development, digital skills and strengthening organisation infrastructure

Projects will strongly meet one or all of our Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund’s four pillars:
Learning Opportunities
Young People
Business and Entrepreneur Support

We especially encourage applications from:
Black, Asian and people of colour
Disabled people including people with mental health issues or long-term health issues or learning disabled
Gypsies and Travellers
Older people
People without qualifications
Unemployed/low waged
Working class people
Young people

Organisation application portal

Individual application portal

Press contact
Amy Zamarripa Solis
Communications Manager
Foundation for Future London
07854 658873

Notes to Editors

Foundation for Future London
Foundation for Future London is an independent charity created to connect communities, the new East Bank and its globally renowned arts, innovation and cultural partners to ensure East Bank is London’s must-visit destination and becomes a resilient, thriving, world-class neighbourhood of local and global significance. We’re fundraising to expand grant-making opportunities for East Bank communities and partners and facilitating creative placemaking, to support local places, learning, training and employment through arts, education, culture and innovation. Our vision is for a vibrant and inclusive creative East Bank, creating authentic engagement with local people of East London in the boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund
Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund is an ambitious five-year programme that aims to invest £10 million in to local communities of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest. This flagship project will provide new jobs, learning, training and educational programmes through the means of arts, culture, innovation, public realm and creative placemaking. The programme aims to transform and catalyse the lives and careers of people in East London by putting funding, resources and support straight into local people’s hands. The fund is supported by Westfield Stratford City and administered by Foundation for Future London.

Westfield Stratford City
Westfield Stratford City is London’s most popular shopping destination by footfall, located in London’s fastest growing area, and now has over 51 million annual customer visits. The centre has been a catalyst for the regeneration of the Stratford area, bringing around a million shoppers every week, as well as jobs, tourism and investment to the local community. As a group, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has invested over £1.75 billion in Westfield Stratford City with further investment of £670 million on 1,200 new homes in the surrounding area. The Group investment continues to include significant public realm improvements and green space provision, from new pedestrian routes to sustainable open space. This has created environments people want to visit, live and work in – in turn bringing further economic and social benefits.

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