Create Church Street - arts and culture funding

The fund programme has now finished. Check this page regularly for updates on following rounds. You can also follow awarded projects on our Facebook page.

1. About the fund

Create Church Street is a £200,000 Westminster City Council fund designed to support and encourage arts and culture in the Church Street Ward area. 

It seeks to award grants from £200 to £10,000 to organisations or individuals to deliver creative activities like theatre, music, singing, dance, film, photography, visual art, making, creative writing or crafts for local people of all ages and backgrounds to take part in.

Applications might propose one of the above activities or a combination of them, a festival, outdoor event, performance or something completely new.

The programme runs from March 2016 to the end of July 2018.  It is now in its 2nd year of delivery, having successful funded 13 projects totalling around half of the funding available.

We want to receive innovative project proposals that:

  • directly benefit the local Church Street ward and its residents
  • involve the local Church Street ward residents - to prove this, you must collect participants’ postcodes where you're able
  • encourage greater local engagement with art, making or culture
  • are creative or cultural in their content

Background information

View the Church Street room hire timetable

Local schools in the area

Church Street ward profile including ward boundary map.

For examples of past projects and best practice, please go to the My Church Street Facebook page.

2. Who can apply

The local community, artists, individuals, groups and arts and cultural organisations can submit applications for funding for arts and creative projects.

Individuals and organisations based in the Church Street ward will be prioritised.

Projects must begin within 3 months of an award being made.

We can't accept applications from departments within local authorities. Applicants working in partnership with libraries or schools, for example, should submit the application.

3. Funding

You can apply for up to £10,000 per project, although we think the average award will be around £2,000. The minimum amount of funding you can apply for is £200.

If the assessment panel feel it's in the best interests of the programme and its aims, we reserve the right to offer part-funding to some projects. 

Funding can go towards: 

  • artists’ fees and materials
  • administration and staff costs for management, planning and delivery of the project
  • venue hire or rehearsal space hire
  • licensing, event notices and road closure costs (it'll strengthen your application to have relevant permissions in place when you apply, but it isn't required)
  • publicity and marketing costs
  • costs for training volunteers
  • costs to make the activity more accessible to participants

Equipment may be purchased on condition that is used by the beneficiaries and it will reside with the beneficiary group or organisation once the project has ended, for its continuous use by said groups. This must be agreed with the fund manager prior to purchase (a valid original receipt of purchase will be required). All equipment purchased through the Create Church Street Fund is wholly owned by Westminster City Council.

In your application, you must show that you or your partners can match at least 10% of funding requested, whether in-kind or cash.

4. What we can't support

We can't support:

  • projects that don't have a strong cultural or creative component as their primary motive or activity
  • capital works on a premises
  • purchase of equipment
  • activities that promote political, religious or extremist views
  • regular core running costs, loan repayments or VAT
  • activities that have no public benefit for residents
  • activities that don't benefit the local Church Street ward or ward residents - if your project takes place outside the area, you must show how it benefits the area and its residents, and how you'll make it accessible to Church Street ward residents with disabilities or unable to reach the area
  • applications for top up, continuation or replacement funding for a project that started before March 2016
  • activities that won't happen between March 2016 and the end of October 2018

5. How to apply

The fund programme has now finished. Check this page regularly for updates on following rounds. You can also follow awarded projects on our Facebook page.

We can't accept more than one application at a time (unless you're applying as a member of a consortium where another party is the lead applicant).

Whilst individuals or organisations can submit more than one application over the programme period, projects can't run in parallel and the panel would expect to see a significantly different project proposal for any subsequent applications.

There is no maximum number of times you can apply to the fund, but please be aware that, in the interests of fairness, the panel will take the overall amount of funding awarded to individuals or organisations into consideration when assessing further bids.

Step 1

Contact or 020 7641 2409 for a short informal discussion of your project idea.

Following this, the Cultural Partnerships Officer may refer you to The Showroom for further advice and support if you are eligible. Find out more about The Showroom.

Step 2

Prepare the following supporting documents:

  • a brief project plan and timeline
  • 2 letters of reference or support from a reliable source
  • a letter of agreement signed by all partners taking part in the project
  • for funding above £5,000, where the applicant is an organisation, a copy of your most recent audited annual accounts - these mustn't be more than 2 years old
  • the financial projections template to let us know how much you're planning to spend
  • DBS certificates for all staff who will be working unsupervised with children
  • your public liability certificate (minimum indemnity of £2 million)
  • your employer's liability certificate (if you need one)
  • proof of equipment hire quote (a screenshot is fine)

​Application decisions

Decisions will be made at the next assessment panel – these are usually held within 3 to 4 weeks of the closing date. Calls for projects may be open for up to 3 months.

6. The Showroom

The Showroom can offer further advice and support to applicants:

Create Church Street – free advice and support for Create Church Street applicants

Local arts space, The Showroom is offering support for bids from local groups, individuals and artists who are keen to deliver cultural projects that address and involve local people. The Showroom is a contemporary art space focused on collaborative approaches to art making with over seven years’ experience working in Church Street with schools, community groups, designers artists in public space and on gallery and workshop projects.

If you live or work in the Church Street Ward and are interested to apply to the Create Church Street Fund and would like some support, guidance or just to talk through your ideas with a local gallery please get in touch! Email or call 020 7724 4300. All advice provided by The Showroom is impartial and confidential.

7. Projects awarded 2018

Fourteen projects received funding in 2018 (second round), as part of the Church Street regeneration programme and in association with the Church Street Futures Group, to run creative activities this spring and summer.

The projects were awarded a total of £100,000 and the programme of activities is running from February until the end of July 2018.

Woodland Tribe – Play Build Dream

Organised by Woodland Tribe Community Interest Company

A two-week adventure playground-building programme for children and families which took place in February. With hammers, saws, nails and wood, attendees designed and built their own dream play spaces.

This event took place between 12 and 24 February 2018 at the Showroom, Penfold St.

Watch the video of the project:

Women's Recycling Enterprise

Organised by Mosaic Community Trust

A new project “Bags of Empowerment” to showcase the creative skills of Church Street based BME women whilst at the same time addressing the growing global issue of plastic pollution.

Open to all BME women residents in Church Street area

Every Tuesday, 10am-1pm, Church Street Library (Community Spaces)

Contact: Heike Gloeckner, Programme Manager, Church Street Neighbourhood Centre, Cherwell House, Penfold Street, email, 07973 833 489

Church Street Tales

Organised by London Print Studio, in partnership with Project ALCHEMY, Royal College of Art, The Showroom and Paddington Development Trust.

A project to create a book and exhibition of stories by people from the area in collaboration with illustration students from the Royal College of Art. They are looking to meet people with stories to tell.

If you would like to be involved email Ismail Ali: or call 07515 829 768.

This project will run from April until mid-June.

E-Road Passages (working title)

Organised by Mehryar Golestani

The creation of a short film by local Hip-Hop artist Reveal about the Church street area, its residents and some of the issues they face as a community. The film will be screened at an open event for the community at The Showroom and used to run a song writing workshop for young people from the area.

Open to all

Events dates to be confirmed, once shooting of the short film starts

Commedia for Elders

Organised by Dende Collective

Weekly drama classes for residents aged 60+ on Commedia dell’Arte at the Church Street Library followed by two shows at the Cockpit Theatre.

Every Wednesday, 28 February - 25 April, 3.30-5.30pm, and longer rehearsals 2, 4-5 May, 1-6pm, Church Street Library

Dress rehearsals: 8-9 May, 11am-6pm and 10 May, 12-9pm, Cockpit Theatre

Performance: 11 and 12 May, 7.30pm, Cockpit Theatre

To book and for more information contact: Andre Pink, 07984451796 or email or come along to a session – you can register at the library.

Focus inside: boosting creativity in the age of digital distractions

Organised by Consciously Digital 

Focus Inside is an art and digital detox festival and space to rethink our relationship with technology and help overcome digital addiction.

Open to all ages, children u16 with guided tours only

17-22 April, 35-37 Church Street

Digital detox space open daily (except Mondays), no registration required.

Times: Tues 3-9pm, Wed-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm

Workshops and talks have a specific schedule and must be booked in advance.

For full programme and tickets visit: For updates follow Twitter hashtag #focusinside

Cloth of Dreams

Organised by Debbie Guneratne

An intergenerational community storytelling project, weaving together threads of people’s stories, hopes and dreams, culminating in an inspiring new collaborative Church Street story cloth.

Open to Penfold Community Hub over 50s, Church Street Community Champions over 20s, Portman Centre parents and carers

Penfold Community Hub
Promotional event 11am – 1pm, Monday 9 April – promotional event to find out about the project
Project workshops

11am – 1pm, Monday 16 April, 23 April and 30 April

Portman Centre
Promotional events

Tuesday 27 March, 9.15-10.15am and 1-2pm, promotional event to find out about the project

Tuesday 17 April, 9.15-10.15am and 1-2pm, second promotional event to find out about the project 

Project workshops 9.30am–11.30am, Wednesdays 18 April, 25 April and 2 May

PDT Community Champions

Promotional events Tuesday 27 March 10.1511.15am - promotional event to find out about the project
Project workshops to be advised

Project celebration to be held in Penfold Community Hub on 22 May 2018. Times: 2.30-3.30pm for Project participants, 3.30-4.30pm for Project participants, family and friends.

Contact details:

Booking: through or at the individual venues  

Avant Gardening Church Street!

Organised by Carole Wright

Arts and environment project encouraging Church Street residents to explore creatively their urban landscape though art and gardening.

Wednesdays: 11 April, 2 May, 6 June, 2-4pm (open to Church Street residents aged 50+)

Friday 9 May, 3.30-5pm (open to families and young children)

Location: The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street

Contact details: Carole Wright

Arlo (The Life and Times of Arlo the Alien)

Organised by Dream Arts

Arlo arrives from outer space to discover the true meaning of what it means to be Human. Join Dream Arts for a sci-fi spectacular that follows the intrepid intergalactic voyager known as Arlo on their journey towards the most unusual planet in the Universe: Earth.

Open to all ages

Sunday 25 March, 10am at City of Westminster College and 12:30pm at London Landmarks Half Marathon Stage 2 (near Mansion House).

For more information email:

DIY Gallery

Organised by Olivia Chessell

A public art gallery run by local young people for local young people. Teenagers will make art, collaborate and exhibit to the neighbourhood.

Venue to be confirmed.


Organised by Rebecca Buckman

An exhibition welcoming all forms of creative self-expression and self-love (art, design, media, performance, writing).

Open to persons identifying as female aged 12-16* from a Black, Asian and Ethnic minority background *(age is flexible)

Send submissions or enquiries to: or 07425166071

Deadline: 14 May 2018 very latest.

Exhibition will run from late May until July.

Bright Spark

Organised by Fitzrovia Noir Community Interest Company

By transforming languages found around Church Street, into electrical arcs in a Faraday Cage, this project will show how an apprentice Marylebone bookbinder, Michael Faraday, changed our world.

28 March - 10 April, 35-37 Church Street


Church Street Portraits (working title)

Organised by Rosalind Hobley

A project to create photographic portraits of market traders and other local shop owners. Also working with another local artist, Suzy Flood, there will be three portrait photography workshops: "How to take a Better Portrait". 

Portrait sittings are open to all market traders and local shopkeepers and will take place during April and May in Church Street. Exhibition dates will be announced at the end of May.

Portrait Workshops will be held at The Showroom and are open to anyone over 16, with priority given to those living within the Church Street ward. Dates are 4 May, 9 and 15 June. Booking for workshops will be advertised within the local area.

Feminist Library 

During this month-long residency in Church Street, visitors are invited to explore the fascinating collection of the Feminist Library (founded in London in 1975). The space will be open to everyone, and feature materials from the Library’s collection and new artwork taking the Library as inspiration, as well as a cosy space to enjoy tea and a chat.

A lively programme taking place across the month will feature readings, discussions and workshops, finishing with a celebration and community meal. Workshop sessions require advance booking, local residents given priority, some sessions open only to those who identify themselves as women. 

Further details and booking information to be announced.

Last updated: 17 May 2018
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