Create Church Street - arts and culture funding

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

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 churchstreet@westminster.gov.uk 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)

​Step 3

Complete the application form

Application deadlines

Due to high interest, we extended the deadline to 12am on Monday 30 October 2017.

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 info@theshowroom.org or call 020 7724 4300. All advice provided by The Showroom is impartial and confidential.


Last updated: 16 October 2017
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