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New round of Cultural Hackney grant funding now open to community groups

12th June 2024
Small grants of up to £4000 are open to local community groups and organisations to fund cultural events and activities that reflect and celebrate the borough's rich diversity and heritage through its communities.This is the second round of applications for the brand new Cultural Hackney grant fund which aims to support art forms and activities across the borough, such as community events, film screenings, talks, walks, exhibitions, club nights or podcasts.The first round was launched in February 2024, attracting over 100 applications. A total of 12 grants were awarded to a diverse range of organisations, most of whom have not previously received funding from the council, including:Sounds Like HomeEvery Wednesday until 26 June, 10.30am-12.30pmHoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6SHA weekly choir project inviting international women from a wide range of backgrounds to celebrate their diverse heritage through music by Counterpoints Arts.The London School of Architecture's Hackney PavilionMonday 3 - Monday 24 June, 12pm-6pm.The London School of Architecture, 4 Beechwood Road, London, E8 3DYThe construction of a timber pavilion to host exhibitions, workshops, talks and film screenings to engage with young people.Saigon Superfly! Sunday 23 June, 4pm-10pmCentre 151, 151 Whiston Road, London, E2 8GUA line-up of Vietnamese musicians and live DJs performing free improvisation, jazz, contemporary new music and more in the spirit of Vietnam in the 1960-70s.Haile Selassie Jah Rastafari - by Gillett Square Action GroupTuesday 23 July, 2pm-9pmGillett Square, Dalston, N16 8AZA free family-friendly event celebrating the birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie, with live Nyabinghi drumming and chanting, steel pan, Jah Prophecies Sound, Gillett Square Domino Club and a PopUp Playground.The offer is open to any community group or organisation including those based on race, religion, age, gender or sexuality, or around a particular interest or pastime, such as gardening, sport, tours, literature, film, music, fashion, photography or art. Find out more on Love Hackney.The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 7 August  for events and activities to be held between October 2024 and March 2025. Apply here. 

Screen-printed images of Jamaica by Windrush Amplified Art Grant winner Wayne Snooze to be displayed across borough

11th June 2024
A series of screen-printed images of present day Jamaica titled ‘Stories From St. Thomas’, will be displayed on billboards across Hackney from 17 June, showcasing the work of Hackney-based Windrush descendant Wayne Snooze, the first recipient of the new Windrush Amplified Art grant. Drawing from the artist's background as a child of Jamaican immigrants who arrived in the UK during the Windrush era, the images are inspired by the hand-drawn signs used in Jamaican shops and businesses, and incorporate the same traditional screen printing techniques. The £3000 Windrush Amplified Art grant, open to photographers, artists, poets, writers, art collectives, schools and community groups, was launched as part of Hackney’s 2024 Windrush microgrants programme, which funds events and activities for this year’s Windrush Generations Festival: Past. Present, Future, and aims to support and elevate the artistic talents of Hackney’s Windrush generations.The artwork was selected by the Council’s Culture team alongside renowned visual artist Dr Pogus Caesar who was delighted with the “refreshing” submission from Wayne Snooze. Caesar, remarked on Wayne’s work being “extremely original in the use of traditional methods which is rare these days. A new head with old thoughts that screams heritage in a silent way”. The images will be on display until the end of June on Chapman Road, Dalston Lane and Kingsland Road, on public billboard spaces in collaboration with partners Build Hollywood, as well as on Love Hackney. As part of the project, Wayne Snooze will also lead a screen printing workshop ‘Island to Island’ to explore connections of the Islands of the Caribbean and how those from the diaspora have flourished here for select community groups. NotesView the artworks on the Love Hackney website, Facebook and Instagram.Wayne SnoozeWayne Snooze is a London-born artist whose work focuses on exposing the beauty in normality, capturing everyday moments, creating inclusive thought provoking work that challenges our expectations of the ordinary. www.waynesnooze.comDr Pogus CaesarDr Pogus Caesar is a conceptual artist utilising multiple media. He was born in St Kitts, West Indies, and grew up in Birmingham, England. In 2018 Caesar was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University for his outstanding contribution to the visual arts. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. Considered an important visual record of Black history, Caesar’s work has been exhibited widely and his photographs and artworks have been acquired by National Gallery of Art, Washington; National Portrait Gallery, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield; Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton; Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham. Alongside his work as a photojournalist and artist, Caesar has also had a successful career in television as a Series Producer and Director for Central Television, Carlton Television and the BBC.Build HollywoodBuild Hollywood are creative street advertising specialists. 
Young people in Hackney invited to help oversee the borough’s schools
Young people aged 18-30 that live or work in Hackney are being invited to apply to become school governors, as part of an innovative programme encouraging more diversity in education.The Hackney Young Governors programme was designed in partnership by Hackney Council and Hackney Young Futures Commission and was first introduced as a pilot in 2021. Applications are open to people aged 18-30 with a strong connection to Hackney, for example if they:grew up in Hackney or are still living in Hackney;attended a Hackney school;work in Hackney;other (e.g. part of a Hackney community / volunteer group).Those interested are invited to apply by filling in a short online form by 24 June. As part of the programme, young governors will receive free specialist training, guidance and support. They will be paired with a fellow governor that will offer them mentoring, and they will be invited to networking events. They will gain experience working at a strategic level, developing their skills and holding leaders to account. The Young Governors programme aims to get young people from diverse backgrounds and with different lived experiences involved in shaping Hackney’s education, bringing new perspectives and fresh ideas to the local schools.A recent national survey found that young people continue to be underrepresented in school and trust governing boards, with only 9% of respondents under the age of 40 and only 1% aged between 18 and 29.The Young Governors programme aims to ensure that those having a say in the leadership of Hackney schools better reflect the demographics of the borough.What does it mean to be a school governor?School governors play a key role in education, working together with school leaders, supporting and challenging them to help improve the lives of all children and young people, and to give them the best opportunities in life. More than 300,000 people are school governors.  They come from all kinds of backgrounds, bringing a range of skills and perspectives.School governors have three main responsibilities:Helping schools have a clear vision and direction;Holding school leaders to account;Looking after the finances of the school and ensuring money is well spent.Anyone over 18 can be a school governor, and there is no knowledge or experience required. Why should I become a school governor?You will be able to make a difference and shape the work of Hackney schools to help them become more inclusive. Drawing on your lived experience and governing through the lens of a child, you will be able to influence, support and contribute to decision making. You will help transform the lives of next generations for the better, and build an education system that works for every child. More information about the programme can be found here. How to applyAre you interested in applying, or do you know someone who might be? Please submit your details by filling in a short online form by 24 June. The first prospective young governors that apply will also be invited to attend the annual Hackney Governors’ Conference, on 27 June, with the theme ‘Striving for equity in our schools’.
10th June 2024
New £1m Hackney Affordable Workspace Fund announced
Local workspaces and businesses will be able to bid for a share of a £1 million grant fund to improve and expand affordable workspace in Hackney as part of a new Council fund to support the borough’s community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses.The Hackney Affordable Workspace Fund will make capital grants of between £5,000 and £200,000 available to affordable workspaces, and businesses based within them, for projects that improve existing affordable workspaces and create new affordable workspace in the borough. The fund will particularly encourage investment that support the aims of the Hackney Responsible Business Charter, a new initiative encouraging businesses to help create a greener, fairer and more inclusive local economy.This could include creating business spaces that support the borough’s journey to net zero; provide jobs, training or internships to local people; or offer access for local residents and community organisations.The Hackney Affordable Workspace Fund, which is paid for by business rates and levies on new developments in the borough, is the latest Council initiative to support affordable workspace in the borough, including securing 4,800sqm of affordable workspace in new developments since 2019, and facilitating new affordable business space in Hackney Wick, Shoreditch and Dalston.Applications will open during the week beginning Monday 3 June on the Hackney Business Network website. Join the online briefing on Wednesday 12 June to learn more about the application process, including eligibility criteria and required supporting documents.The deadline to apply for the fund is Friday 5 July by 5pm.
31st May 2024
Residents and businesses invited to invest in local solar projects
Residents and businesses in Hackney are being invited to invest in local solar projects on schools and council homes while getting a low-risk, fixed interest return. Hackney’s green investment, which launched this week, will aim to raise £5 million over the next four years to help fund local projects that will help create a greener, healthier borough. People can invest from £5, with the investment offering a fixed rate of return of 4.5% interest a year over a five-year term. The Council aims to raise £500,000 in the first six months, which will fund solar panels on council homes and at a number of local schools.The investment process is being managed by Abundance Investment, a leading platform facilitating ethical and sustainable investments, on behalf of Hackney Council. It uses the same approach as a recent programme by neighbouring Islington Council. Returns on investments will be paid every six months into investors' Abundance accounts, offering flexibility to withdraw or reinvest funds as desired.To invest in Hackney’s green investment programme, residents and businesses should visit: Notes to Editors:Capital at risk. Investments are long term and may not be readily realisable. This content has been approved as a financial promotion by Abundance who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (525432). Approval date: 29/05/24Holding investments in an IFISA does not reduce the risk of the investment or protect you from losses. You can still lose all your money. It only means that any potential gains from your investment will be tax free. The tax treatment of your investment will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.Hackney Green Investment, which is a loan, is Green Loan Principles compliant and is being issued under a Green Finance Framework. This is a voluntary standard which sets out how Hackney Council intends to manage its green local authority securities in the future, and outlines how they will meet the Green Loan Principles. This assures investors that funds raised can only be used to help them deliver on eligible green projects from within this framework, and Abundance will monitor the use of funds across the investment term to ensure the principles are being adhered to.
31st May 2024
Community shapes designs for new “pocket park”
Designs for a new pocket park in Hackney Central have been unveiled, with work to start this summer on repurposing a dead-end street into an open, public green space, prioritising safety and wellbeing for the local community. The project will be the first to be delivered from £19 million of government "Levelling Up” funding and is part of our plans for a Greener Hackney Central.In December 2023, the Council launched a consultation with residents, local businesses, and other stakeholders in Hackney Central about plans for a new pocket park community space on Marvin Street and proposed changes to adjacent streets - 72.3% of people who responded supported the proposals.As part of the Council’s work to engage as many people as possible about the project, many shared their concerns, ideas and suggestions. Here are just some of the ways we have incorporated this feedback:To address comments about night time use of the pocket park, the designs prioritise space for children to play and for the community to enjoy the garden while passing through. The designs provide places to stop and rest, but the seating is designed so that it won’t encourage night time gatherings. To address comments about the loss of car parking space, a review of parking demand was undertaken and found that in the area directly affected by the Marvin Street project, over 70% of households do not own a car or van and 40% of all journeys in Hackney are made on foot. A desire for more trees than planters, native or wildlife-friendly planting for biodiversity and ensuring plants were suitable for all seasons were some of the suggestions for greenery on Marvin Street. The Council is working actively to select plants and trees that require low maintenance and are aesthetically pleasing all year round.In response to requests for the inclusion of loading bays to accommodate deliveries, the designs include a 10m loading bay to service residents and businesses.In response to comments about safety, lighting on Marvin Street will be unchanged by the project. Narrowing the carriageway width will allow for safer pedestrian crossing of the street.Some people mentioned concerns about road closures. The Marvin Street project is not introducing a new road closure. Where road closures have occurred in Hackney, this has seen more people switch from private car use to walking or cycling. A quarter of people in Hackney report walking or cycling more following the introduction of active travel policies, a representative poll of local residents found.Two cycle hangars and a dedicated cycle hire bay are included in the Marvin Street designs in response to requests. In response to comments about signage, clear signage indicating a no through road will be installed.Other projects which will be delivered as result of Levelling Up funding in Hackney Central can be found here. Consultation launched on the redesign of Town Hall Square earlier this month. You can share your thoughts, ideas and memories of the square here.Read more about the proposals for a Greener Hackney Central
28th May 2024