The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched Culture Seeds – a new £1million micro-grant programme which will bring bright ideas to life by supporting creativity in all of London’s communities.
Culture Seeds was launched on the same day the Mayor published his draft Culture Strategy – Culture for All Londoners. Sadiq’s strategy aims to sustain London’s position as a global capital of culture, while also ensuring that all Londoners have access to culture on their doorstep.
Culture Seeds will support grassroots organisations, artists and creatives with up to £5,000 to make their ideas a reality.
It aims to reach communities who don’t ordinarily access grant funding, especially individuals and smaller grassroots organisations working locally. Successful applicants will receive support from City Hall and will be invited to join the Culture Seeds Network to help them make the most of their project.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is overflowing with talent and imagination. Thousands of artists have made the capital their home and their creative influence is felt in all corners of the city.
“However, I know how difficult it can be for emerging artists and small creative organisations to get quick access to funding to support some amazing grassroots cultural activity in communities around the city.
“That’s why I’m launching Culture Seeds and calling on all Londoners to let us know how a small grant could make a big difference in your neighbourhood. From kickstarting a new arts festival, to funding a pop-up cinema screening in your local park – the possibilities are endless.
“Today, I’m also launching the draft of Culture for All Londoners – my strategic vision for culture in the capital. I want all Londoners to access the capital’s cultural riches and all young people in the city to feel they can pursue careers in the creative industries. My strategy lays out a bold approach for culture to be central to city life, celebrating and supporting London’s diverse heritage, people and places.”
Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “Culture Seeds is the perfect project to demonstrate what the Mayor’s draft Culture Strategy is all about – using the power of culture to make a real difference in communities across the capital. Small grants can make big things happen and we want everyone to have great culture on their doorstep.
“Our draft Culture Strategy recognises the central role culture plays in the capital’s success – as well as its economic contribution, it drives tourism, improves the quality of our lives and our health and it brings us together. Culture is London’s DNA and we plan to protect and grow this valuable asset today and for the future.”
Culture and the creative industries contribute £47bn to London’s economy every year and account for one in six jobs in the capital. London is the world’s most googled city for culture, says the Mayor, and four out of five tourists to the capital say the city’s culture and heritage are the main reasons for visiting.
Culture for All Londoners – the Mayor’s Culture Strategy – includes details of new projects and initiatives already underway in the capital including:
- London Borough of Culture – the winners, Waltham Forest (2019) and Brent (2020) were recently announced at a ceremony in City Hall
- Creative Enterprise Zones – a bold new initiative to provide artists and creative businesses with long-term affordable workspace and help them put down roots
- Museum of London – Sadiq has granted £70m to the new Museum of London site in West Smithfield, the biggest single cultural investment of any Mayor
- Developing London’s night-time economy – Sadiq has appointed London’s first-ever Night Czar, Amy Lamé and published a vision of London as a 24-hour city
- London Plan – the draft London Plan aims to protect culture and heritage across the capital, including pubs and music venues
Culture for All Londoners also contains plans for a new summer campaign in the capital – Sounds Like London – with gigs and events promoting London’s grassroots music venues and shining a light on emerging talent and young women in the music industry. The campaign will involve partners including Airbnb and little concert, BBC Music Introducing, Boiler Room, Fabric and Music Venue Trust, and the full programme will be announced in May 2018.