Arts Council announces £4.8m grants to six Croydon groups

Six arts groups in Croydon are to receive a share of a £4.8million Arts Council grant over three years, part of £431.2million funding for arts projects across the capital through to 2026.

Shopping centre arts centre: Turf Projects in the Whitgift Centre

The Croydon groups that have been awarded funding for the first time are the Stanley Halls arts centre in South Norwood, Turf Projects, which runs creative workshops and puts on free exhibitions that showcase local and national artists from its base in the Whitgift Centre, and Zoo Co Creative, an award-winning theatre company and charity that creates inclusive, playful productions.

Other creative and cultural organisations in Croydon receiving funding are Boundless Theatre, Eye Music Trust and the Talawa Theatre Company, based at the Fairfield Halls.

“By funding new organisations in new places, we are delivering on the vision set out in our strategy, ‘Let’s Create’: that everyone, everywhere, deserves to benefit from public investment in culture and creativity,” Arts Council England said is revealing the recipients of its grants.

The Croydon funding, the Arts Council says, will ensure “that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps”.

Theatrical: the Talawa Theatre Company moved to Croydon three years ago

These and other projects in London get one-third of the overall arts investment for England announced today.

Arts Council England says that there is a wider spread of investment to outer boroughs, “meaning more Londoners will benefit from creative and cultural investment”.

Stanley Arts, Turf Projects and Zoo Co Creative are among 56 London organisations to receive Arts Council support for the first time, “reflecting the talent and interests of the great melting pot of people and communities in the capital”.

These newly funded organisations will sit alongside the Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum, the National Theatre, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the ICA on The Mall and the Southbank Centre as part of Arts Council England’s “London portfolio”.

The government gave the Arts Council an instruction to distribute funding to areas of historically low cultural engagement and spending, part of the Tories’ “Levelling Up” agenda, which is removing £24million of investment from London. “This has meant that we have not been able to fund all organisations in London that were previously funded,” the Arts Council said.

Croydon is among five London boroughs identified as “Priority places”, which between them are receiving £18.8million over three years.

Melting pot: Tonya Nelson, of Arts Council England

“Our aim has been to support a broad range of organisations and artforms in every corner of London, with a clear focus on ensuring that investment goes into places that, historically, have been under-served, including London’s outer boroughs,” said Tonya Nelson, Arts Council England London region director.

“Funding these new organisations and places, will help us inspire the next generation of cultural and artistic talent and increase opportunity for people of all communities and backgrounds.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, the chair of Arts Council England, said: “London is a global powerhouse of the creative industries, renowned across the world for its galleries, theatres, museums, libraries and music venues.

“As someone who was born and has lived in the capital most of my life, I recognise how the arts can enrich people’s lives. I am proud of the quality and range of the arts in London and the benefit and prestige that they bring to the city.

“The investment we are announcing today balances the need to protect London’s place in our nation’s creative and cultural ecology with an increase in investment across the outer boroughs and across the whole country where investment has been too low, making high quality culture available to everyone wherever they live.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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