Bringing Hackney together – £500,000 Hackney Community Fund winners announced

A Homerton community garden promoting positive mental health, a permanent home for a long-established Hackney theatre company and a multi-use community hub in Stamford Hill are among the projects being made possible by the first ever Hackney Community Fund.

They are some of the nine initiatives sharing £500,000 to help bring Hackney together and celebrate the borough’s rich culture, paid for through the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) – a charge placed by the Council on new developments being constructed in the borough.

Also receiving grants are a touring arts and culture roadshow led by Hackney Showroom, a new community hub in Stoke Newington, a project celebrating African and African-Caribbean heritage at Dalston CLR James Library, and the Turner Prize nominated Windrush art commission in Hackney Central.

Finally, grants will pay for 4,000 free tickets to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Hackney Empire theatre, and a free theatre programme for young people in Hackney Wick.

 Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

We’ve all seen the change in our neighbourhoods and town centres created by new development, and the Hackney Community Fund is one of the ways we’ve ensuring that this brings with it investment in our communities too.

I’m delighted by the range of innovative ideas across the borough that the Hackney Community Fund will make a reality, helping bring Hackney together, supporting innovation and celebrating our reputation as a hub for diverse culture and creativity.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

The money that we’ve been granted through the Community Fund is like a lifeline to this project. We’ve been through Covid, Brexit, complications with increasing costs and bureaucratic processes, so this is actually really allowing us to start to be able to invite the community into the space, which is incredibly exciting and really needed.

Anna Iskander-Reynolds, CEO of The Boiler House Community Space charity

Core Arts is delighted to receive investment from the Hackney Community Fund towards a new community garden that will serve the people of Hackney. We are particularly proud to be partnering up with the St Barnabas Church who have kindly given us the licence for their green space.

Giuliana Molinari, Deputy CEO, Core Arts

We’re very excited to have been given this opportunity to create a new community garden in the heart of Homerton, making the most of a peaceful green space for all to enjoy.  The garden will create numerous opportunities for local people to learn a range of horticultural skills and sustainable urban greening techniques that can be applied elsewhere in Hackney.

Nemone Mercer, Project Director, Core Landscapes

'Entry for All’ will bring together thousands of young people from across Hackney and East London, to have their first experiences of theatre and every ticket will be free. 

The Hackney Community fund means ‘Entry for All’ can continue to support Hackney Empire’s commitment to representation and inclusion, in an effort to bridge a widening gap in cultural engagement and access, a gap that the pandemic has only amplified. 

We’re so excited to bring together young people of all backgrounds, to experience the incredible, transformative, life-changing magic that access to arts and culture can provide.

Elly Rothnie, Head of Development at Hackney Empire

The nine successful projects are: 

Core Arts and St Barnabas Community Garden, by Core Arts: £95,000

Redeveloping over 1,000sqm of underused land behind St Barnabas Church to create a new collaborative community garden space aimed at supporting adults with severe mental ill health.

The Common Rooms, by Clapton Commons Community Organisation: £71,740

Fitting out the church hall spaces and under-croft of St Thomas’ Church, Stamford Hill to create  a multi use community hub including a community canteen and servery, group exercise studio, and bookable meeting rooms.

A home for Immediate Theatre, by Immediate Theatre £83,000

Creating a dedicated office, meeting, storage, and rehearsal space to support Immediate Theatre in continuing to provide its programme of theatre activities across Hackney.

Hackney Showroom Roadshow, by New Future Collective: £60,000

A touring trailer stage, accompanied by a high quality artistic and cultural touring programme, taking live performance including across music, dance, theatre and cabaret to Hackney parks, schools, children’s centres, adventure playgrounds, estate fun days and street parties.

The Good Place Pantry by the Boiler House: £90,000

Funding the completion of community space in the George Downing Estate in Stoke Newington including a community garden, facilities to support urban agriculture, kitchen and café kiosk, sports and fitness centre, creative spaces, and meeting/ therapy room. 

A Living Legacy, by Hackney Archives: £6,279

Activities and resources of specific interest celebrating African and African-Caribbean Heritage at Dalston CLR James Library, including focus groups and performances aiming to preserve and share the history and experiences of these communities in Hackney.

Windrush Art Commission, by Create London: £25,000

This allocation will provide the final piece of funding for the now delivered groundbreaking Windrush sculptures in Hackney Town Hall Square – a landmark piece of art which has received national recognition.

Hackney Empire Entry for All, by Hackney Empire: £45,000

An Entry for All scheme to celebrate the theatre’s 120th anniversary, including 4,000 free tickets to two different high quality productions seeking to engage young people from across the borough in arts and culture for the first time.

Yardlings at Trowbridge, by the Yard Theatre: £30,000.

A free drama programme that brings local children together through weekly workshops culminating in a community performance. The participants will come from three local schools and the performance will be delivered at a local community space in Hackney Wick.

Hackney Community Fund: Boiler House Community charity