Walthamstow has been chosen to receive £1.35million from the new Great Places Scheme, which will be used to deliver a series of cultural and heritage projects that will provide long lasting benefits for residents across Waltham Forest, and attract visitors to experience what the area has to offer.
The Great Places Scheme is designed to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of communities across England. It will be used to fund projects in areas where there is a commitment to embed arts, culture and heritage in local plans and decision-making. The scheme is managed by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.
The funding secured by Waltham Forest Council will be used to deliver a programme called ‘Creative Connections – Culture for All’, a unique programme of cultural activities that will bring together communities and provide a wide range of opportunities for local residents, enterprise and organisations.
Council Leader Chris Robbins said: “We are absolutely delighted that Walthamstow has been chosen to be part of the Great Place Scheme, and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver a unique cultural and learning programme that will provide far reaching benefits for the whole borough.
“We already have a strong track record of delivering first class cultural activities for our residents and visitors, and this funding will allow us to capitalise further on Walthamstow’s unique heritage and character. Being part of this scheme will enable us to provide more opportunities for people to experience and be inspired by arts, heritage and culture, and ensure that culture is embedded at the heart of everything we do.
“Our Great Places programme will also give a real boost to our local economy, allow us to provide further support for local businesses and organisations, and create new skills and employment opportunities for our residents.”
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Waltham Forest is one of the most diverse places in the capital. Not only its people, but each of its neighbourhoods enjoys a unique heritage and defining character, from the craftsmanship of William Morris to the UK’s first film studios in Wood Street. With funding from the Great Place Scheme, ‘Creative Connections - Culture for All’ will boost the active commitment to arts, culture and heritage already seen from the local authority. Culture and heritage will be embedded as a key part of ‘business as usual,’ creating better connected communities and business, and giving visitors something truly different from the usual central London offer.”
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “Heritage makes us who we are, and gives us pride in the place we call home. This award will build on the success of previous National Lottery investment in Waltham Forest’s museums, natural heritage and community history, and ensure that heritage and culture are at the very heart of the borough’s identity.”
Activities planned as part of the programme include a new Festival of Creativity for the St James Street area, a new arts programme for the Walthamstow Wetlands, a street art and lighting project, a heritage-inspired adventure learning programme for 1,000 children, and a new project focusing on the William Morris archives.
The programme will also create a range of skills and employment opportunities for residents, including 150 volunteering programmes, eight new apprenticeships, further education courses and training for small and medium-sized enterprises