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We award £560,000 to 15 East London arts, cultural and innovation projects

Thanks to the new £10 million five-year Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, Foundation for Future London has awarded £560,000 to 15 local projects in of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest in 2021.

Round 1 of the Fund’s Medium Grant Scheme awarded grants to projects that work with East London’s most underserved communities such as:

  • Catering programme for disabled and deaf/hard of hearing women in Newham (Deafroots)
  • Theatre careers programme for school leavers in Tower Hamlets (Half Moon Young People’s Theatre)
  • Employability programme for Bangladeshi and Somali women in Tower Hamlets (Streets of Growth)
  • Entrepreneur programme for vulnerable adults in Hackney (Shared Enterprise CIC)

The largest grant has been awarded to The Talent House, a vibrant new creative hub and permanent home for East London Dance and UD set to open in autumn 2021 at Stratford’s Sugar House Island. The Talent House promises to be an engine room for creativity and will create opportunities for early career and more established dance and music artists to connect with one another, to be inspired and create.

Large Grant Scheme awarded grants of £50,000 to three lead organisations — Catalyst In Communities, Badu Community CIC and The Line Art Walk – for consortium projects.

Supported by retail destination Westfield Stratford City, the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund 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 Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund opened its grant schemes – Small, Medium and Large – for applications in 2020.

Key facts – impact of funding:

  • Total 1603 young people and local people will take part in projects
  • More than 12,000 people per year will be welcomed to The Talent House and its inspirational public programme, co-curated with young people, artists and local residents.
  • More than 2,100 hours of free access to The Talent House and its facilities will be a made available to locally-based independent artists every year.

Polly Risbridger, Chief Executive, East London Dance and Pamela McCormick, Director, UD say: “We are delighted that East London Dance and UD have both received this funding to help realise our joint project to create The Talent House — a pioneering music and dance hub for the young people and artists of east London. This boost in investment will enable us to complete the creation of a high quality and aspirational space where the next generation of dance and music creatives can achieve their ambitions.”

Alyson Hodkinson, General Manager for Westfield Stratford City says: “Reflecting the diverse interests of our visitors to Westfield Stratford City, these organisations cover a fantastic selection of industries and topics. We’re proud to support these projects and be an integral part in the future of East Bank through providing opportunities for young people in our local community.”

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO, Foundation for Future London says: “Our ambition at the Foundation for Future London is to help build London back better and fairer with no one left behind, and these grant awards from our new Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund aim to do just that. We have funded 3 outstanding consortium large grant projects and 11 medium grant scheme projects whose plans help people in East London learn new skills and carve out new career paths in the creative sector. Whether its sport industry, fashion or local wildlife, inclusive placemaking and design these distinctive projects draw on East Bank’s rich heritage building on the legacy of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to creating a future for a dynamic talent pipeline for both the current and next generation.”

Sarah Nelson, Director of Programmes and Communications, Foundation for Future London says: “Foundation for Future London’s grant to UD and East London Dance’s new Talent House build and programme is the biggest investment we’ve made from our new Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, supported generously by Westfield Stratford City. The grant signals our commitment to diversity, inclusion and access in dance and music talent development and creative sector growth in east London. We believe that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, emerging local talent and community businesses deserve a chance to be nurtured and to flourish in London’s fastest growing new cultural district, along with East Bank and other Olympic Park developments. We want them to benefit and be part of the exciting changes taking place, and we are confident The Talent House will offer an inclusive creative learning and educational space for decades to come.”

More information on the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund

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