Engagement and Learning Programme Commission Brief: Stratford Waterfront Embedded Art Commission

London Legacy Development Corporation and Foundation for Future London (with funding from City of London) are seeking to commission a creative organisation to collaborate on the development of an engagement and learning programme across Spring and Summer 2021, to provide a platform for local East London voices and support development of the final artwork across the Stratford Waterfront public realm.


  • To develop and facilitate an interactive community engagement and learning programme to further activate the Stratford Waterfront Artist Commissions.
  • To engage with the communities within the four Olympic boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest
  • To support the artist development of the final artwork via the sourcing of contemporary rhyming slang with input from local communities.
  • To work with local cultural organisations, schools, youth clubs, older peoples’ groups and neighbourhood community centres to engage residents of all ages by using the project and the Stratford Waterfront public realm as an anchor.
  • To work with communities to create work that is relevant and accessible to support more residents to have a sense of ownership and a feeling of pride for Stratford Waterfront; and to excite local people about the future usage of the public realm at Stratford Waterfront.


London Legacy Development Corporation has commissioned three artists to produce artworks that will be embedded within the public realm at Stratford Waterfront. The intention is that these works add an extra level of interest and engagement whilst giving people an additional reason to spend time in the public realm on a regular basis.

One of the artist’s proposal for Stratford Waterfront is to use historic and contemporary versions of cockney rhyming slang to catalogue and describe Stratford Waterfront’s landscape. This lexicon will be applied as signage to street furniture across the site, including along Carpenters Road. The artist’s interest is in rhyming slang — rather than colloquial slang — originating in the East End. The slang could take a variety of forms in response to the site including describing the street furniture, the landscape, activities such as dancing, and giving ‘directions’ out of the Stratford Waterfront site.

Stratford Waterfront brings together the East Bank partners of Sadler’s Wells, the BBC, UAL’s London College of Fashion and the V&A to create new synergies and opportunities – both as individual institutions and through shared endeavor. The University of the Arts London will relocate and consolidate the currently disparate London College of Fashion onto one campus, linked to the textile heritage of east London. Sadler’s Wells will create a new dance theatre, including a mid-scale 550-seat auditorium and six studios and support facilities designed specifically for dance. These spaces will allow it to establish a new centre for choreographic practice and a hip hop theatre academy, both of which will be the first of their kind in the world to be run by a theatre. The Victoria and Albert Museum will create V&A East, a two-site project with a new museum at Stratford Waterfront, presenting art, design and performance from the V&A’s collection, major temporary exhibitions, and a creative public programme. The BBC building will provide a new home for BBC Rock & Pop, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Chorus and the BBC Singers with space for rehearsal, recording and broadcast.

These four new buildings are physically united through a common plinth, a series of interlinked public spaces, connecting them to the surrounding park and cityscape; down to the Waterworks River and London Stadium and across to Carpenter’s Road and Westfield Shopping Centre. These public spaces will be a place to encounter activity and events developed by the East Bank partners as well as a space for dwelling and being. It will be the first welcome to the institutions for visitors, workers, residents and the backdrop for the 6,500 students attending the London College of Fashion and forms part of the park visitor experience.

The project is supported by Foundation for Future London and the City of London.

The Commission

London Legacy Development Corporation and Foundation for Future London would like to commission a collaborative creative organisation to work with one of the artists to devise and lead an engagement and learning programme e.g. interactive workshops, masterclasses, art-making, career development, creative learning opportunities etc.

Working with the local community, the programme should provide a platform for local East London voices and support the artist’s development of the final artwork. It is also intended the programme will help to build local ownership and an identity for the site at this early stage through conversations e.g. events, interviews, discussions/talks, podcasts, roundtables, etc.

It is envisaged that the community engagement approach will be:

  • Intergenerational
  • Include people from the four local boroughs
  • Linked with existing groups and initiatives
  • Inclusive

It is intended that the programme will support the creative crowdsourcing of rhyming slang and collection of new content to document the projects development (e.g. interviews, film, spoken word, podcasts, blogs) via a website. The website should act as a key portal for the programme and serve as an archive of the project.

The programme should develop a series of creative learning opportunities to align with activities for East Summer School 2021 to engage with local young people aged 12 to 17 years old at the Great Get Together, for the Go Schools Network as well as other activities in collaboration with East Bank Partners and existing local cultural organisations.

The artist is interested in exploring participatory role for a smaller group of people to be engaged throughout the project as advocates and advisors to give continuity to the project. This small group could be involved in the development of the engagement programme itself and co-designing future engagement activities once artworks have been installed on Stratford Waterfront.

In developing the engagement programme, the artist would like to involve a linguist or other professionals to explore the roots and development of rhyming slang, the history of rhyming slang and contemporary use of rhyming slang with its use in music, poetry and art.

The artist is also working with a graphic designer who is interested in delivering creative workshops focused on typography. When developing the engagement programme, these workshops should also be considered and finalised with the designer to ensure alignment.

Target Audience and Accessibility

  • This programme is intended to inspire and work with the local communities and residents to East Bank across Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
  • Development and building of new audiences (arts and non-arts) and participants, who may not be regular users of the Olympic Park.
  • Proposed activities should take place across a range of local spaces to ensure grants reach a wide community audience e.g. Black, Asian and people of colour, disabled people, unemployed and/or low waged residents, homeless people, LGBTQIA+ residents, children and young people, older people and people with mental health issues or long-term health issues.
  • Proposals should describe how programme recruitment and content delivery will be developed in a way that is inclusive and accessible to a wide and diverse audience.

Intended Project Outputs

  • We expect delivery of a minimum of 20 activities tailored to different audiences to provide:
    • Engaging cultural experiences and creative learning opportunities that raise aspirations and skills;
    • Signposting/developing towards a ladder of employment and education opportunities e.g. internships, apprenticeship, training
  • Work in partnership with local small arts organisations, artist/creative freelancers, community groups, schools to incorporate a range of existing activity to connect participants and residents in some way to the artwork
  • Engagement programme that supports the artist’s approach including generation of content to be included as part of final artwork and sustained utilisation of project website (including regular monitoring and uploading generated content)
  • Connect programme with East Bank Partners’ existing activities across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding boroughs
  • Further alignment with other pan-London initiatives such as across the Foundation’s wider partnership projects via City of London/Culture Mile E.g. Fusion Prize – read more about Fusion Prize.


You will have access to a budget of £20,000 – £25,000 (inc. VAT), which will need to cover the following items:

  • Project management and fee
  • Engagement Programme — production and delivery
  • Project report
  • Final event

The production and delivery budget is inclusive of all expenses and must cover all fees, travel, materials and project-related expenses. Please note: payments will be made in instalments, on receipt of invoice, and subject to progress against achieving agreed activity as outlined above.


The engagement activity will need to be completed by end of Summer 2021 (see full schedule below). Consideration will need to be given to timings and COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

Who Can Apply?

We are seeking to appoint a creative organisation with an innovative and bold response to the brief. Applicants should:

  • Have a practice that is strongly participatory and socially engaged
  • Have a track record of producing work that engages and involves local communities, removing barriers to participation in the arts
  • Be based in one of the four Olympic boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest
  • Demonstrate that they are well-placed to create work with the local community.

We actively support applications from individuals & organisations from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

How to Apply and Deadline

Submissions should be sent to by 5pm Monday 4 January 2021. We are unable to consider applications submitted after this time.

Submissions should include the following:

  • An outline of your proposal, your thoughts about the project and how it meets the objectives of the brief, participant recruitment and delivery (max two pages A4)
  • A detailed budget (fees, materials, labour, outreach programming, installation and de-installation)
  • Your CV and approach to diversity and inclusion (max length one double-side of A4)
  • Up to six high-res images of your work presented in a single document format.

Equal Opportunities 

Foundation for Future London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across all its activities and actively support applications from organisations from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds e.g. Black, Asian and minority ethnic, disabled, unemployed and/or low waged, homeless, LGBTQIA+, children and young people, older people and people with mental health issues or long-term health issues.

We request all applicants complete the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form. This is for monitoring purposes only and will be detached from your application. 

Download the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form

What Happens Next?

Proposals are reviewed by the East Bank Art in Public Realm creative team, which comprises of representatives from the projects key partners alongside the artist.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of Brief (25%)
  • Relevant Experience and Approach to Inclusion and Diversity (25%)
  • Value for Money (20%)
  • Deliverability and Outputs (30%)

If you would like to discuss other ways to submit your work or have any questions please do get in touch.

Shortlisted applicants will be provided additional information about the brief and invited to an interview on either Monday 11 or Tuesday 12 January 2021 (TBD) to discuss their response further (via Zoom) with members from the East Bank Art in Public Realm creative team. All shortlisted applicants will be paid £150.

Further Information

Programme Development and Contracting

The winning participant will be subcontracted to Foundation for Future London and will work alongside the East Bank Art in Public Realm creative team to develop their programme of work.

A project plan with milestones will be devised for the commission in consultation and agreement with the artist, London Legacy Development Corporation, Foundation for Future London and any relevant partners. All agreed terms will be incorporated into the contract at the point of acceptance of proposal.

The commissioned organisation will receive ongoing support, advocacy and advice from the East Bank Art in Public Realm creative team.

Project Schedule

  • Community engagement – now to Summer 2021
    • The graphic designer is responsible for developing the project’s identity with the artist including the website and signage format for the site.
    • This is the period where the content of the commission and public engagement is developed in collaboration with the artist. Engagement team to organise and oversee the engagement programme. Activities to be developed and co-designed with young people via Legacy Youth Voice or selected focus group. The artist to attend a small number of workshops and the typography ones delivered by the graphic designer.
    • Delivery of engagement programme
  • Detailed designs — Spring 2021 to Autumn 2022
    • The artist to work with the graphic designer to develop the final signs for the site and produce technical drawings and specifications drawing from input from the engagement programme
  • Production, fabrication and installation — April to September 2022
    • The final artwork is fabricated and installed on-site.

East Bank

East Bank – one of the world’s largest and most ambitious culture and education districts – is central to that long-term legacy creating a powerhouse for artistic excellence, learning, research, performance and exhibitions. It represents a unique prospect for London and a concept that is almost unparalleled on the international stage.

World-renowned universities UCL (University College London) and UAL’s London College of Fashion will join the global cultural brands of the BBC, Sadler’s Wells and the V&A to create this centre of innovation and ambition. This part of London has always been a place of firsts, where canals and lock gates opened early industry; rockets and bone china were first fired; and Joan Littlewood transformed theatre into a people’s palace at Stratford Theatre Royal.

Spread across three sites at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East Bank will be at the heart of a growing cluster of commerce, technology, manufacture, retail, education and the creative arts, delivering unprecedented new job opportunities in the digital age. It will bring an additional 1.5 million visitors to the Park and surrounding area each year, and more than 2,500 jobs will be created– generating an estimated £1.5 billion for the local economy.

The scheme will provide skills and jobs for local people, bring over 10,000 students to the site and attract thousands of visitors from London and beyond. Inspired by the success of the South Bank in transforming a location through world class art and learning opportunities, East Bank will help to cement the capital’s reputation as a world leader in culture, education and innovation.

East Bank will build on the area’s existing creative credentials, and East Bank partners have been building relationships and delivering projects with the thriving arts, fashion and community organisations based in the area, including the artistic community in Hackney Wick, East London Dance, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Studio Wayne McGregor and many more.

UAL’s London College of Fashion is leading on the development of a Fashion District, a hub for fashion innovation in East London, which will launch in the Autumn, and partners have also been working with local schools to develop an East Education strategy to raise awareness, aspiration and attainment amongst young East Londoners

UCL East Campus

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 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 and collaboration with local people of East London in the boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Stratford Waterfront Public Realm

London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)

The Legacy Corporation is responsible for delivering one of the most important Olympic legacy promises made in the original London 2012 Games bid. This pledge concerns the physical legacy of the Games – the long-term planning, development, management and maintenance of the Park and its impact on the surrounding area after the London 2012 Games.

It is our task to transform and integrate one of the most challenged areas in the UK into world-class, sustainable and thriving neighbourhoods. This will create a new part of the city in East London – an inclusive community, a thriving business zone and a must-see destination where people will choose to live, work and play, and return time and time again.

We are a Mayoral Development Corporation and therefore directly accountable to Londoners through the Mayor of London. We work closely with a number of organisations including the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority, central government, the East London Host Boroughs, residents in neighbouring local communities, local organisations, businesses and regeneration agencies and national and international sporting, cultural and leisure organisations.

Let’s keep in touch