Make it Happen is our flagship grants programme for arts and culture projects in Waltham Forest, celebrating the diversity of local communities and shining a light on creative talent across the Borough in the process. 

The grants scheme has been designed to support arts and cultural activities taking place in Waltham Forest between April 2023 and January 2024. You can apply for between £1,000 and £15,000 and will need to make your submission by 8 January 2023. We will be investing a total of £85k into Make it Happen grants across 2023. 

For Make it Happen 2023 we will be accepting applications that align with one of the following themes:


The Culture and Destinations team are focussing on bringing local communities together through exploring the eclectic histories and traditions that characterise our borough. We are therefore seeking to support proposals from across art forms that help to create a more nuanced understanding of people and places in Waltham Forest and, in particular, highlight lesser-known stories that continue to shape the changing landscape of our Borough. 

Climate Emergency 

Waltham Forest Council was the first London Borough to declare a climate emergency in 2019. Over the past decade, we have delivered programmes that have driven down carbon emissions in the Borough by 32%, and have ambitions to reach the net-zero target by 2030. We welcome applications that highlight issues and behaviour change around climate change, that promote access to our many green spaces and a greater understanding of the natural world.

We typically have a high volume of applications for projects taking place in Walthamstow. The Culture and Destinations Team are committed to delivering programming across Waltham Forest, and for 2023 we will therefore be prioritising submissions taking place in Chingford, Higham’s Park, Leyton and Leytonstone. You are still able to propose a project in Walthamstow however we will only have the capacity to support a limited number. 


Applications open 14 November 2022
Workshops and feedback sessions November to December 2022
Applications close 8 January 2023
Application review panels February 2023
Successful bidders announced March 2023
Projects begin April 2023

How to apply

We recommend that you read the Make It Happen 2023 guidance pack in full before making a submission.  This outlines our funding aims for the grants programme, alongside questions you will be asked to address in your application.

In order to apply you will need to complete an application form discussing your proposal in full.

You will also need to complete a budget spreadsheet outlining how you will spend the grant. Please see the attachments section for templates. 

Alternatively, you may make a submission by video, recorded on a phone, camera or laptop. This can be up to five minutes in length, responding to the six questions stated in the guidance pack. You will need to send this to, using the title “Make it Happen 2023, Application, *your organisation name*”.


If you have any queries about eligibility or making a submission please message us at