£2 million investment announced to boost young Londoners’ creativity and cultural engagement

Organisations come together to match £900,000 investment, totalling around £2 million investment in cultural education for young Londoners over the next 3 years

20 May 2019

A New Direction is pleased to announce £900,000 investment in 12 new cross-sector initiatives, through Challenge London, our four-year partnership investment programme supporting cultural education across London between 2018 and 2022.

Led by A New Direction, with funding from Arts Council England, Challenge London aims to develop sustainable, innovative partnerships to support young people's creativity and cultural engagement in London.

For every £1 invested, partners will contribute another £1. With around £1 million in additional funds already committed, this represents a total of around £2 million investment in cultural education for young Londoners over the next 3 years. 

Importantly, young people have been at the heart of investment decisions through the involvement of the Young Challenge Group our youth advisory and advocacy group alongside a panel of industry experts in conjunction with A New Direction and Arts Council England.

London’s cultural, heritage, artistic and creative opportunities are rich and varied. Londoners can access world-class and cutting-edge experiences in concert halls, arenas, parks and streets. However, London is also city with challenges around inequality, and we know that not everyone feels empowered to shape culture and be involved with the breadth of opportunities available. Challenge London aims to address this by making investment across six key themes affecting young people’s capacity to be creative in the capital:

  • Fairness
  • Wellbeing
  • Influence and power
  • New London
  • Preparing for work
  • Pressures on institutions

Find out more

Lead partners include: artsdepot(Barnet), Camden Spark (Camden), Create London, Croydon Music and Arts (Croydon), EnableLeisure and Culture (Wandsworth), London Borough of Barking & Dagenham,Education Service Development (Barking & Dagenham), London BubbleTheatre (Southwark), London Borough of Islington Cultural Enrichment Team (Islington), London Borough of LambethBusiness, Culture and Investment (Lambeth), London Borough of Waltham ForestCulture TeamandWaltham Forest Music Education Hub (Waltham Forest), Lyric Hammersmith (Hammersmith & Fulham), RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Through Challenge London, we are supporting nine Local Cultural Education Partnerships, alongside three cross-sector partnerships, which includes 'Park Royal Young Planners' - an ambitious three-year creative programme led by Create London in partnership with the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation. Working in Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham, the project will work with local young people to demystify, engage and influence the planning process of London’s largest regeneration project.

London Bubble will lead 'Creating Justice' - a research led project looking at theatre-based interventions and activities to support children and young people who are at risk of being involved in, or currently have experience of, the criminal justice system.

The RSA will put young people's voice, agency, and wellbeing at the centre of their initiative - 'Cities of Learning: Design Competition London' - a London-wide competition to identify three leading ‘boroughs of learning’ through its flagship place-based learning and skills programme, Cities of Learning. The competition will champion the most compelling prototypes for connecting young people into learning and work opportunities in the cultural and creative industries.

Challenge London is about organisations coming together to commit to making London a better, more fulfilling, happy, connected and creative place for young people to live, go to school, and find work in. This investment is about addressing some of the biggest challenges that young Londoners face in their lives - and in consultation with them, come up with solutions to make things better. We look forward to working with all of the partners involved to make this happen.
Steve Moffitt, Chief Executive of A New Direction
London has a huge range of cultural and creative assets, but we could do much more to make these exemplars of lifelong learning locally and improve access for all. We would strongly encourage boroughs to apply for this competition, which will help their residents and visitors access lifelong learning opportunities in the cultural and creative sector.
'Through the Creative Journeys Competition, we will work closely with three winning boroughs to bring together arts organisations, education providers, civic organisations, and leading creative and cultural industries - and young people themselves - to thread together the different pockets of creative and cultural learning happening in their area. Londoners and visitors will be able to earn new ‘digital open badges’ through participating in different learning activities, helping them gain accreditation, and through a digital platform, they will be able to connect into valuable new pathways to progress into further learning or employment in the creative industries, and beyond.'
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA
Taking part [in the Young Challenge Group] for me has meant gaining an understanding of how organisations like A New Direction and funding bodies within the arts and creative industries works. I has been a privilege to be part of a group of young people who are invested in their communities and are great communicators and advocates, and to have input on the real-world allocation of funds.
PJ, 24 (member of Young Challenge Group)

For more information about Challenge London go to: https://www.anewdirection.org.uk/challenge-london