Mayor names first community projects to benefit from Culture Seeds

10 July 2018
  • £40,000 awarded to brilliant grassroots cultural projects in nine London boroughs
  • Grants of between £3,500 and £5,000 allocated to individuals and small organisations
  • Culture Seeds funding is available for two years and is part of the Mayor’s commitment to culture for all Londoners


The Mayor has announced the first nine projects to benefit from his £1million fund to support community cultural projects across the capital.


The Culture Seeds funded projects include visual arts workshops in Kensington and Chelsea for volunteers who helped the local community in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Fire; music and singing in residential care homes in Redbridge; and in Lambeth, a creative industries summer school for local children.


As part of the Mayor’s commitment to support culture in all corners of the capital, Culture Seeds will continue to award funding for community-led arts, culture and heritage activities on a rolling basis, with grants available from £1,000 - £5,000 until May 2020.


The first £40,000 of Culture Seeds funding has been awarded to:

  • Learning Through the Arts (Brent) who will run ‘Cultural Connections’, arts workshops for users of Ashford Place community centre to inspire and promote friendships.
  • Polkadots on Raindrops (Bromley) for their photography project, ‘Belonging’, which is aimed at young people facing exclusion from mainstream education.
  • Sir Hubert von Herkomer Arts Foundation (Camden) whose Queens Crescent summer holiday project will provide healthy meals and training in music, visual arts and photography to young people from Queen's Crescent Estate.
  • Chantelle Clarke (Hackney) whose project ‘Echoes of Love’ will use monthly writing and storytelling workshops to help BAME women living in Hackney to share stories.
  • Quernmore Road Summer Festival (Haringey) who will host a one-day festival featuring music and dance performances, workshops for children and a performance from the local community choir.
  • Will Ashcroft (Islington) whose ‘Whitecross Street Mandala Project’ will unite residents of Whitecross Street Estate to create hand-painted wooden benches and planters.
  • Congo Great Lakes Initiative (Kensington and Chelsea) whose project ‘Soul of Art for our Beloved Ones’ will offer visual arts workshops to volunteers who helped in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Fire.
  • Bisoye Babalola (Lambeth) who will run a summer school for local children aged 14-17 introducing them to the creative industries.
  • Redbridge Music Lounge (Redbridge) for ‘Music of the Mind’ which will take music and singing activities to people in residential care around the borough.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:Every corner of London is overflowing with cultural talent and imagination, yet it can be extremely difficult for small grassroots organisations to access funding for cultural projects in their communities. As Mayor I have made it a priority to support London’s creative potential. Whether you need help to put on an art workshop, grassroots drama shows or start a new singing group to bring your neighborhood together, the possibilities are endless. My new Culture Seeds fund are small grants which will make a big difference to projects across the capital.”


Chantelle Clarke from of Echoes of Love, Hackney said: "It is really exciting and humbling to have gained support from City Hall. It is not my usual line of work but will really benefit the community. For me, this project fills a gap in the market as there isn't this sort of funding available in the community and up until this point I have been funding it all through my own pocket. This is something that is really important to me."


Will Ashcroft of Whitecross Street Mandala Project, Islington said: "I feel overjoyed to have the opportunity to build something with my community and for my community. Thank you very much."


Bisoye Babalola from Lambeth said: "I think Culture Seeds is amazing because the process has been easy to go through and I'm excited to carry on with my venture."


Jon Pushkin of Redbridge Music Lounge said: "We are very grateful to have received this grant. Culture Seeds will fund the Redbridge Music Lounge to perform at least 35 musical performances for isolated people who live in care homes and sheltered housing blocks. Our previous events have shown that these performances have considerable health and social benefits to both the audience and those who perform."


Further projects to benefit will be announced in the coming months.

Notes to editors

Culture Seeds is part of the Mayor of London’s draft Culture Strategy, Culture for all Londoners.


The grants are for funding grassroots community arts, culture and heritage projects and activities. These can include:

  • visual and performing arts
  • filmmaking and film screenings
  • heritage projects
  • digital art
  • cultural events/festivals
  • literature, spoken word, reading groups
  • craft and making activities
  • choirs/singing groups
  • creative writing

For more information and to apply, visit:

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