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Sadiq Khan launches £1m fund for grassroots arts projects in London

Culture Seeds launch at Battersea Arts Centre on March 23, 2018 Culture Seeds launch at Battersea Arts Centre on March 23, 2018. Photo: Caroline Teo
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London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a £1 million fund for grassroots arts projects as part of his draft culture strategy for the capital.

The plan also includes the previously announced London Borough of Culture competition, creative enterprise zones and promotion of new planning laws to protect live music and cultural venues.

Waltham Forest wins bid to become first London borough of culture

The new £1m fund, Culture Seeds, will offer small grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to individuals and organisations to kickstart culture projects.

Particularly targeted at those who do not already have access to public funding and people on lower incomes, the Culture Seeds grants could go towards hiring a venue space or funding artists to lead workshops.

Recipients of the grants will be supported with further funding applications by the mayor’s volunteering and social action team and will be given access to resources, surgeries and networks.

Khan said: “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.”

Culture Seeds was announced as part of Khan’s draft culture plan, which was launched on March 23 at Battersea Arts Centre.

Other new announcements in the culture strategy include a pilot scheme to encourage young Londoners to volunteer for the city and gain skills in the creative industries. More details of this are to be announced.

The mayor of London has also revealed plans for a new summer campaign in the capital – Sounds Like London – with gigs and events promoting grassroots music venues.

Taking place in June 2018, the month-long celebration of music also aims to “shine a light on women working in the industry”, with concerts profiling emerging female artists and workshops for female musicians.

Khan said: “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.”

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