Year 4 of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund is now open

2 May 2023
By Amy Zamarripa Solis

We are pleased to launch the fourth year of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund for East London creative projects, supported by founding partner Westfield Stratford City.

People living, working or studying in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest can apply for up to £50k from the Fund’s community grant strand for new and existing projects, with a total of £550k available.

The Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund is a £10 million five-year programme that will provide new jobs, learning, training and educational programmes through the means of arts, culture, innovation, public realm and creative placemaking.

Grants are available to apply to through the three schemes as follows:

  • Small Grant Scheme – Aims to nurture new ideas and give people a chance to test things out —individuals and non-profits can apply for up to £5k
  • Medium Grant Scheme – Supports scaling up and growing of projects —schools and non-profit organisations can apply for up to £15k
  • Large Grant Scheme – Supports partnership working/collaboration across the boroughs —schools and non-profit organisations can apply for up to £50k

What’s new?

This year, the Small and Medium Grant Schemes have a combined pot of £150k and the Large Grant scheme has a pot of £400k.

To help focus our support and save applicants’ time and resources, we have changed the application to the Large Grant Scheme into a two-stage process so that expressions of interest to apply must be submitted first – opening on Tuesday 2 May and closing on Friday 16 June – with invited applicants having from Monday 24 July to Friday 22 September to submit a full application.

As previous years the application process is expected to be competitive. For this reason, we have strengthened the expected focus of projects and amended the application process. Applicants can only apply for one grant scheme in this round, unlike in previous years.

Our Flexigrant application portal for Small and Medium Grants will be open from Monday 24 July until Friday 22 September 2023. The portal is now open for Large Grant Scheme Expressions of Interest.

The guidance for all three schemes is available on our website from today.

This year, we will be introducing a community panel to help decide on which grants get through – details about recruitment to be shared shortly.

We are also planning a special celebration to mark our fourth year on Wednesday 28 June at Westfield Stratford City. Please save the date!

Support, advice and access

We are pleased to be running another year of the Westfield East Bank Creative Future Fund’s Capacity Building Programme, in partnership with award-winning social entrepreneur Lisa Stepanovic, providing new guidance sessions for all grant schemes, workshops for those thinking of applying to the Large Grant Scheme, impact framework workshops and a Whatsapp network.

The sessions are free for all new and previous applicants and can make a great difference for applicants both in terms of application advice, but also support and sharing of best practice.

Year 4 Grant Guidance workshops

Booking links are available via Eventbrite.

Year 4 Introduction to Outcomes/Impact Framework workshops

These sessions are run by The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC).

All events are free and open to individuals, organisations and businesses working and living across the local communities in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Booking can be done via Eventbrite. We also encourage you to join the Capacity Building Programme Whatsapp network by emailing

As part of our commitment to access, if you need any of the information about this Fund in a different format or need help in taking part in the Capacity Building Programme due to a disability, neurodiversity, caring responsibility or for any other reason, please contact us at

What’s Been Funded So Far

Now in its fourth year, the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund has already awarded a total of £2,139,433 and 155 projects in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest through its community grant strand. The Fund aims to develop new employment, learning and business skills and entrepreneurial opportunities and in particular support to young people.

Here are a few examples from our Year 3 projects, demonstrating how the Fund is making an impact locally:

  • women-led textiles cooperative
  • start-up accelerator
  • free creative programme for East London schoolchildren.
  • creative careers and film employability training, mentoring for young people
  • yearly print prize that will engage over 500 young people to use their creativity to produce an “ecological renaissance”.

If you want to find out what kind of projects we fund, watch our Year 2 film featuring Eastside, Loop Labs and True Cadence, check out our projects page or watch our new video case study series with grantees and participants. You can also listen to our new podcast series with our CEO Maria Adebowale-Schwarte.

For more information on how to apply, including guidance and support, please see our Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund Programme page

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Amy Zamarripa Solis

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