DD2364 London Borough of Culture – Stakeholder Engagement and Legacy

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2364
Date signed: 
11 September 2019
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Interim Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence

Executive summary

The Mayor established a London Borough of Culture award, inspired by the European and UK City of Culture programmes, where winning London boroughs are the focus of a celebration of their unique arts, culture and heritage. MD2107 and MD2287 approved total GLA expenditure of £4.537m to launch the first competition and announce two title awards. The title awards were given to Waltham Forest (for London Borough of Culture 2019) and Brent (for London Borough of Culture 2020). There were also six Cultural Impact Awards to London Boroughs and grant funding to Battersea Arts Centre to deliver a young creative entrepreneurs programme called ‘The Agency’.

The funding proposed in this decision will address two goals:

- To achieve awareness and engagement with diverse audiences and participants in Waltham Forest; and
- To increase legacy for the programme in Waltham Forest by providing new opportunities for young people.

Waltham Forest will deliver a Stakeholder Engagement Plan that will raise awareness and participation in the programme. It will target under-served and less engaged communities in Waltham Forest. It will also ensure that there are increased opportunities for creative participation by young people. Two further projects will enable greater legacy for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, by supporting new creative opportunities for young people in Waltham Forest in 2020.

Decision

That the Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence approves expenditure of £90,000:

1. Additional funding of £50,000 in 2019-20 to Waltham Forest to deliver a targeted Stakeholder Engagement Plan. This will raise awareness and participation in the London Borough of Culture 2019 programme by under-served and less engaged communities.

2. Additional funding of £15,000 in 2019-20 to Waltham Forest to support a new Welcome to the Forest Bursary programme for young people who want to pursue a career in the arts. There will be ten bursaries offered of £3,000 each in 2020. Waltham Forest will fund five bursaries (totalling £15,000). The GLA will match fund five bursaries (totalling £15,000).

3. Grant funding of £25,000 to ensure that Blackhorse Workshop can deliver a new youth led entrepreneurship programme inspired by ‘The Agency’. The funding will ensure Blackhorse Workshop continues to provide positive, creative opportunities for disadvantaged young people in 2020, and hopefully beyond.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor launched the London Borough of Culture Programme in 2017 (“Programme”). It is a key commitment in the Culture Strategy, ‘Culture for all Londoners’, to bring Londoners together. The Mayor wants to help build stronger, more resilient and more creative communities. Ensuring that Londoners have pride in their local areas - enhancing their health, wellbeing and prospects.

Its purpose is to deliver ambitious cultural programmes which are underpinned by the active engagement of residents. London Borough of Culture places culture at the heart of communities, inspiring new and diverse talent, drawing visitors from across the city and beyond. It aims to improve social integration and cohesion, increase the number of active citizens, contribute to increased wellbeing, and improve the perception of boroughs as cultural destinations. It also intends to embed culture for the long term across borough strategy and policy. The Programme aims to provide positive opportunities for young people and local communities, including those who may be at risk of becoming involved in crime. The programme recognises London boroughs that:

• Identify the greatest ambition to deepen and broaden residents’ engagement with the arts;
• Use culture to transform people’s lives;
• Shine a spotlight on local areas that celebrate culture and communities;
• Deliver excellence and innovation in creative programming; and
• Amplify the great work that takes place under the radar and in every day settings.

The approved GLA expenditure on delivery of the programme to date is £4.537m. The table below summarises the relevant decisions and approved expenditure plans related to round one of the London Borough of Culture programme to date:

Decision ref Date approved Expenditure approved
MD2107 04.04.2017 £3.837m (of which 300k is sponsorship)
MD2287 05.06.2017 £1.1m (of which 100k is approved via MD2107)

London Borough of Culture - Waltham Forest 2019 and Brent 2020

Following a borough engagement programme, the GLA received applications from 22 London boroughs to become London Borough of Culture. After a competitive and rigorous selection process, the two winning boroughs were announced on 27 February 2018; London Borough of Waltham Forest for 2019 and London Borough of Brent for 2020.

Each title winning borough has been allocated total grant funding of £1.35m, which is broken down as follows:

• £1m for each title winning borough approved under cover of MD2107; and
• £0.35m for each title winning borough approved under cover of MD2287 (of which £0.1m for each borough is sponsorship contributions).

As part of the Programme a further six boroughs were selected as winners of a Cultural Impact Award to deliver exemplary projects. To date, a total amount of £1,004,000 has been allocated to six additional boroughs for individual landmark projects – the Mayor’s Cultural Impact Awards. This comprises £904,000 from City Hall and £100,000 from the City Bridge Trust. The Cultural Impact Award winners are the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham; Camden; Kingston upon Thames; Lambeth; Lewisham and Merton.

More than 15,000 people in Waltham Forest pledged their support for the borough’s bid. Waltham Forest’s programme aims to engage 85% of its households, to engage every school in the borough and to achieve 500,000 additional visits to cultural activity in the borough. It is also running a borough-wide volunteering programme called Legends of the Forest. 1529 volunteering days have been completed so far (from January to May 2019).

Supporting young Londoners in the title winning boroughs, MD2287 approved grant funding of £350,000 to Battersea Arts Centre (of which 100k was approved under MD2107) to develop and deliver a creative entrepreneurs programme called The Agency. This programme is supporting the next generation of cultural leaders by investing in young people to develop new social business ideas. The Agency works with young people who live on local housing estates or in social housing to focus on those that are most in need of support. This also ensures that the creative business ideas that develop through The Agency are impacting on some of the UK’s most deprived communities. The Agency will empower young people to reimagine their communities with positive projects. Previous beneficiaries have included care-leavers; refugees; excluded pupils; young people who are not in education, employment or training; and ex-offenders. Battersea Arts Centre is applying their successful methodology to reach a diverse mix of young people in the winning boroughs, Waltham Forest and Brent. In Waltham Forest, The Agency is being delivered by Battersea Arts Centre in partnership with Blackhorse Workshop, a creative makers space.

The remaining £480,000 has supported development grants to the 22 boroughs who applied for the London Borough of Culture Title Awards. This ensured that the boroughs engaged specialist advice and support for their applications. This support included a borough training programme and ongoing support to the London Councils’ London Culture Forum. It also included the set up and delivery of the programme evaluation; support for boroughs to set up their own evaluations; staffing costs; stakeholder engagement activity including community events; the set-up of the application portal; and competition delivery.

Total funding awarded to Waltham Forest under cover of MD2107 and MD2287 is £1.35m. This decision seeks approval to commit a further £65,000 to Waltham Forest, comprising £50,000 for stakeholder engagement with under-served and less engaged communities detailed at 1.14 and £15,000 for the Welcome to the Forest bursary programme detailed at 1.17. This will bring total funding to Waltham Forest to £1.415m. This will be funded from within the existing stakeholder engagement activity funds outlined in section 1.9. A grant of £25,000 will be made to Blackhorse Workshop, to run a youth led creative entrepreneurship programme, inspired by The Agency (as outlined in 1.8). The funding will ensure that Blackhorse Workshop continues to provide positive, creative opportunities for disadvantaged young people in 2020, and hopefully beyond.

Waltham Forest: Outreach and Engagement

Waltham Forest held their opening show, Welcome to the Forest, in January 2019. Around 70,000 people visited over three nights, exceeding attendance targets of 50,000. 23% were Waltham Forest residents. From January to May there were over 100,000 visits, or engagements, with the programme and 77% of local schools were involved. However, a focused strategy to more effectively reach a wider London audience and engage under-served and less engaged communities from Waltham Forest is required. For example, attendance data for the opening event, Welcome to the Forest, in January 2019 showed that;

• 12% of visitors were in the 16-29 years age range; and
• 37% were from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds (against a borough population of 68% BAME).

Waltham Forest has developed a comprehensive strategy to maximise community engagement. Over 850 people have signed up to its volunteer programme, Legends of the Forest. £550,000 of Fellowship Funding has been awarded to local practitioners to deliver 216 projects in every ward of the borough. As part of this funding, five venues received money to enhance their facilities and create more space for culture, indoors and out. Public events called ‘Big Culture Conversations’ are happening across the borough (where around 1000 residents so far, have engaged with the London Programme and explored the ongoing role of culture within communities). 77% of schools have engaged with the programme so far - Waltham Forest is aiming to reach 100% of schools by the end of the year (December 2019). A dedicated Engagement Officer at Waltham Forest is building relationships with community groups, faith groups and other networks. Finally, the borough will conduct a campaign of locally focused PR activity and targeted localised print distribution to ensure that under-served and less engaged communities know about the London Borough of Culture programme.

The GLA External Affairs team has supported the Programme with ‘day to day’ digital, social and press support for key engagement milestones in the competition (the launch, announcement of the winners, announcement of Waltham Forest’s programme and the opening show). However, it is not set up and resourced to deliver in depth audience and stakeholder development planning and delivery on behalf of GLA programmes (such as London Borough of Culture).

£50,000 is therefore allocated within the existing 2018-19 GLA London Borough of Culture round one budget to fund a programme of stakeholder engagement activity. This will be run by Waltham Forest and achieve two goals. Firstly, it will target under-served and less engaged communities in the borough. This will contribute to achieving the goal of engaging 85% of all households. It will also support the Mayor’s ambition to ensure that residents can access culture on their doorstep regardless of their background. Secondly, it will raise awareness of the programme across London, contributing to securing the additional 500,000 visits to cultural activities in the borough. Reaching this goal will have clear economic benefits to Waltham Forest’s local economy. For example, the borough undertook significant business engagement to ensure that local businesses would extend their opening hours during the opening event in January 2019. This helped boroughs capitalise on the influx of people to the Hoe Street / Forest Road area.

These goals will be achieved through the delivery of a programme of activity taking place across all parts of the borough using community assets:

• Social Media Champions:

Empowering this additional resource will enable Waltham Forest to work with diverse and local social media leaders to share information and opportunities with diverse networks. Waltham Forest’s Social Media Champions will work with formal and informal networks on social media. The will also engage with small community groups online.

• ‘Makers and Artist’ Video Series:

Funding will help showcase local, everyday makers and artists on film. This video series will contain diverse and relatable content. In a digital age - where video and photography are such powerful mediums - is important that young people and communities can see themselves and their identity in the work programmed and shared online.

• Employee Networks:

The borough will be working with local employers to engage their employee networks.

• Localised Print Distributors:

Print media will target key households and postcodes that have, traditionally, had lower levels of
engagement with public events.

• Community Noticeboards:

Funding will ensure that notice boards are regularly updated with key event information.

This decision therefore seeks to amend the existing funding agreement which is in place with Waltham Forest in order to provide further grant funding of £50,000 referenced at 1.14.

Legacy activity: Welcome to the Forest Bursary Programme

The new Welcome to the Forest Bursary Programme is a legacy programme taking place in 2020, targeted at young people who want to have a career and training in the arts. Waltham Forest will fund five bursaries of £3,000 which will be match funded with £15,000 of funding from the GLA’s Culture and Creative Industries Unit, to support a further five bursaries, supporting ten young people in total.

This will provide a legacy opportunity for one of the key objectives for Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture programme – Culture as a Career: ‘Young people are able to access both volunteering and work experience in the cultural sector and more people overall from disadvantaged groups are supported through culture to gain skills to improve employability. Young people are inspired to seek creative careers and hobbies through informal and formal learning opportunities’.

This builds on Waltham Forest’s work for this objective to date, which includes; 86 young people (16-24 year olds) signed up to be Legends of the Forest volunteers; over 70 hours of 1:1 advice and support given to Fellowship Funding applicants and 1,000 people attending Big Culture Conversations about the future of culture in the borough. 22 vulnerable young people also participated in the co-creation and performance of EastSide Story which led to two of them returning to mainstream education from a Pupil Referral Unit, and 25 young people have been recruited to the borough’s Cultural Leadership Programme.

The bursaries will be for 18-24 year olds from Waltham Forest who want a career in the arts or creative industries but who might not otherwise have the opportunity to progress without this support. Working with their community networks, Waltham Forest will promote and encourage applications to the bursaries particularly from underrepresented young people; black and minority ethnic young people from low income families. The Waltham Forest Young Advisors will guide the development and management of the scheme. The Bursary could be used by the young person to subsidise a place at a dance school, rent their first workshop space as a maker, or support them to develop their artistic practice through a residency.

This decision therefore seeks to amend the existing funding agreement which is in place with Waltham Forest in order to provide further grant funding of £15,000 referenced at 1.14.

Youth led creative entrepreneurship programme at Blackhorse Workshop

MD2287 approved grant funding of £350k, (of which £100k was approved under cover of MD2107) from the GLA to Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) to set up and deliver a creative entrepreneurship programme for young people called The Agency. This is based on its national programme also called The Agency and will run in the two title winning boroughs. As part of the MD2287 approved grant funding to deliver The Agency in 2019 and 2020, Battersea Arts Centre aims to:

• Identify, induct, support and build capacity in a local cultural organisation (Blackhorse Workshop, in Waltham Forest and The Kiln Theatre in Brent) who will host and deliver the entrepreneurship programme in the borough;
• Support the local cultural organisation to deliver The Agency model;
• Recruit a project manager in each borough, lead their induction and training programmes;
• Oversee the recruitment programme for the young people involved;
• Oversee the development and delivery of a year-round programme;
• Support engagement with the national programme and all communications.

The Agency programme for London Borough of Culture is part of a national programme across Wandsworth, Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff, with the GLA funding contributing to the activity in Waltham Forest and Brent. This programme will provide a valuable new professional network for young people to access and also benefit from local delivery partners in Waltham Forest and Brent by partnering with leading arts organisations Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Theatre in Manchester. The programme is being delivered in 2019 in Waltham Forest by Blackhorse Workshop, a creative community workspace. Their involvement in The Agency is part of a strategic decision to develop a creative offer for the hard to reach local young people from diverse backgrounds, who currently do not access their services and are also largely unrepresented in the creative industries sector.

The Agency programme takes a creative approach to developing social entrepreneurs for the future. It puts young people in the lead and supports them in shaping their own business ideas. Each young Agent defines the idea they want to develop through the programme. A report on the last eight years of The Agency programme shows that both the young people and the arts organisations involved significantly benefit from sharing networks. The report also states that the young people who had participated in the programme improved the diversity and reach of their networks by an average of 83%.

For the first year of The Agency in Waltham Forest (as part of London Borough of Culture) Battersea Arts Centre has provided Blackhorse Workshop (an independent community focussed charity based in Waltham Forest) with advice and support to successfully run The Agency. This support comes to an end in December 2019, when Battersea Arts Centre will begin work with Kiln Theatre to deliver The Agency in Brent.

Following the success of the programme so far, Blackhorse Workshop is keen to use The Agency as a model to extend their engagement with young people and want to set up a new programme that supports the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. The new programme will focus on young people who are otherwise disengaged and unrepresented in the creative industries. Over the last few months, Blackhorse Workshop have built successful links with various community organisations who work with young people. These networks have helped them ensure that the project is accessed by those most in need. This £25,000 grant towards core costs will ensure as a local creative organisation, Blackhorse Workshop is able to provide young people in Waltham Forest access to a creative makers space, and support them to pursue creative careers.

Participating young people are from areas of extreme low engagement in cultural activity. In Waltham Forest, the focus has been on the outer areas of the borough.

It is proposed that grant funding of £25,000 be made available to Blackhorse Workshop to create a new youth led creative entrepreneurship programme based on The Agency. Blackhorse Workshop were Battersea Arts Centre’s delivery partners for The Agency and have requested support to use the learning from the project to invest in a new project for young people. Of the 19 young people who took part in the Waltham Forest Agency programme in 2019, there were 13 BAME and 2 white non-British young people. Blackhorse Workshop is committed to reaching those most under-represented in the creative industries sector. The funding will also give the Blackhorse Workshop team time to raise additional funds to continue the programme beyond 2020, ensuring the legacy of London Borough of Culture continues to be realised.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Waltham Forest: outreach and engagement

The objectives are:

• To promote activity in a targeted way to ensure under-served and less engaged local communities are aware of the programme with the aim of achieving 85% household participation

• To drive local, pan-London, national and international visitors to Waltham Forest (an outer London borough and a priority supporting London tourism dispersal goals).

• Reach a target of 500,000 additional visits to experience cultural activity in Waltham Forest in 2019.

GLA funding of £50,000 will deliver the following outputs:

• A programme of engagement activity as set out in 1.15

This will contribute to achieving the following expected outcomes, which will be reported on as a part of the approved London Borough of Culture evaluation by the Audience Agency:

• Improved social integration leading to greater social cohesion; and
• Improved perception/ positioning of the borough as a cultural destination.

Legacy activity: Welcome to the Forest Bursary programme

The objectives of the programme are:

• To create positive opportunities through training, development and creative participation for ten diverse young Londoners.

GLA funding of £15,000 will deliver the following outputs:

• Five bursaries of £3,000 for diverse young people from Waltham Forest to take part in a supported training and career development, plus levering five further bursaries of £3,000 provided by Waltham Forest.

This will contribute to achieving the following expected outcome:

• Increased diversity of future cultural leaders in London, achieved through investment in young people to build creative skills, knowledge, creative experience and networks.

Blackhorse Workshop – Supplementary programme

The objectives are as follows;

• To develop young people as creative leaders;
• To invest in building a diverse creative industries sector;
• To open new pathways in the cultural sector for young people; and
• To target those who are most in need and support them to network and build relationships.

GLA funding of £25,000 will deliver the following outputs;

• A youth led creative entrepreneurship programme for up to 30 underserved young people;
• A learning and sharing event for 2019 and 2020 participants – up to 50 young people.

This will contribute to achieving the following expected outcomes;

• Increased diversity of future cultural leaders in London, by investing in young people building creative skills, knowledge, creative experience and networks;
• Increased number of active citizens within communities;
• Young people have a greater awareness of community needs;
• Young people have increased range of skills needed to work with others;
• Young people have greater confidence in their own ideas; and
• Young people recognise their potential to make change.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor of London must have ‘due regard’ of the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not. Blackhorse workshop are currently delivering The Agency, which is open to all young people, and through the connections with other community agencies, they have been able to target those most in need. Of the 19 young people who took part in the Waltham Forest Agency programme in 2019, there were 13 BAME and 2 white non-British young people. Blackhorse Workshop is committed to reaching those most under-represented in the creative industries sector.

Through the development of the draft Culture Strategy, the policies and commitments set out (which include the London Borough of Culture programme) have undergone an Integrated Impact Assessment to identify the impact of these on a range of objectives for sustainable development including equalities, health inequalities and community safety. The assessment found that all policy and commitments had a positive or neutral impact on these areas. It stated that programmes like London Borough of Culture incentivise local authorities to develop their cultural offer. This is likely to increase future events and activities available to Londoners to participate in. As grass roots organisations have close community links, support available for them to deliver cultural activities is likely to both increase and diversify participation. If this support helps increase participation among groups where this is currently low, there maybe a potential positive impact on health inequalities.

The Programme has local communities and London residents at its heart and aims to increase Londoners’ engagement with culture and shine a light on the rich and varied stories of London’s diverse communities. We have already seen through the initial application process that London residents of all faiths and communities were brought together in support of their local borough’s application to become London Borough of Culture; for example, 15,000 people supported Waltham Forest’s bid and 70,000 attended their opening weekend, 37% of whom were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. This funding will specifically support activity to ensure that attendance at events is diverse and more closely reflects the population of the borough, and that diverse young people are engaged with positive activities to help them fulfil their potential and to steer them away from trouble and towards education and employment.

Other considerations

London Borough of Culture is a flagship programme within the Love London chapter of the Mayor’s Culture Strategy, Culture for All Londoners, enabling more people to experience and create culture on their doorstep.

The Programme also encompasses the following Mayoral commitments:

· ‘A City for All Londoners’, wherein culture is the golden thread, key to our future success, both for integrating and strengthening communities and supporting more liveable and successful places;
· Supporting the Mayor’s vision for ‘Healthy Streets’ as set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, which are more welcoming to people and encourage them to make active and sustainable travel choices, for example by contributing to the healthy streets’ aspiration of ‘things to see and do’.
· With its focus on social inclusion and participation, creativity, and physical activity, it will be an important tool in helping to deliver two of the proposed priorities for the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy: improving mental health and wellbeing and promoting healthy lifestyles;
· The Mayor’s ‘Social Integration Strategy’, which aims to improve social integration in London. This means enabling people to have more opportunities to connect with each other positively and meaningfully and supporting Londoners to play an active part in their communities and the decisions that affect them. It involves reducing barriers and inequalities, so that Londoners can relate to each other as equals.
· Inclusive London, the Mayor’s equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, which sets out that a successful city needs to work well for all residents. Everyone should be able to share in its prosperity, culture and community life regardless of their age, social class, disability, race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or whether they are pregnant or on maternity leave. This is the Mayor’s vision
· for the city – to create a truly inclusive London; and
· All of Us, The Mayor’s social integration strategy aims to improve social integration in London. This means enabling people to have more opportunities to connect with each other positively and meaningfully and supporting Londoners to play an active part in their communities and the decisions that affect them. It involves reducing barriers and inequalities, so that Londoners can relate to each other as equals.

Impact Assessments and consultations:

• The London Borough of Culture programme was developed in consultation with a Strategic Partners Board, which includes City Bridge Trust, City of London, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Historic England, London Councils and Libraries Connected.
• London Borough of Culture forms part of the Mayor’s Cultural Strategy, which was subject to a 12-week consultation period with stakeholders and the public. The Culture and Creative Industries Unit delivered events and roadshows to consult a wide range of community organisations, agencies and groups about key issues raised in the draft strategy and the plans to address them. Nearly 100 organisations provided written feedback. In addition, a public consultation programme was delivered via Talk London which elicited over 1,600 responses.

Financial comments

Approval is being sought for expenditure of £90,000 for grant funding to Waltham Forest and Blackhorse Workshop. Waltham Forest is to be awarded £50,000 to deliver a Stakeholder Engagement Plan and £15,000 to support five new bursaries. Blackhorse Workshop to be awarded £25,000 to extend a youth led creative entrepreneurship programme based on The Agency, as a London Borough of Culture legacy.

The expenditure is to be profiled as follows; 2019-20 (£77,500) and 2020-21 (£12,500).

This expenditure will be contained within the London Borough of Culture Round One programme budget (approved via MD2107 & MD2287) held within the Culture and Creative Industries Unit’s budgets.

Activity table

Waltham Forest: Outreach and Engagement Campaign

Timeline

Funding agreement signed

Summer 2019

Outreach and engagement activity completed

December 2019

Evaluation and reporting

January to March 2020

 

Waltham Forest: Legacy - Bursaries

Timeline

Funding agreement signed

Autumn 2019

Delivery

January to Dec 2020

Evaluation and reporting

April 2021

 

Blackhorse Workshop: Legacy

Timeline

Sign funding agreement

October 2019

Course planning

January 2020

Delivery of programme

Spring/Summer 2020

Final evaluation

Autumn 2020


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