‘Communities celebrating’: Arts Council awards £1million to Havering Changing project led by Hornchurch’s Queen’s Theatre

Queen's Theatre is leading a project that aims to engage communities in Havering in the arts and cul

Queen's Theatre is leading a project that aims to engage communities in Havering in the arts and culture. Picture: Gary Summers - Credit: Gary Summers

Radical new ways to engage eight Havering communities in arts and culture will be explored in an upcoming project lead by Queen’s Theatre.

Arts Council England announced on Wednesday, August 13 that it will be investing £1million in Havering as part of its Creative People and Places programme.

Queen's Theatre in Billet Lane is leading the Havering Changing project - a partnership of eight organisations that will look for new ideas to engage communities in arts and culture through the working themes of On Your Doorstep, In the Know and Communities Celebrating.

Mathew Russell, executive director of Queen's Theatre, said: "The Havering Changing consortium are incredibly excited about the fresh and life‎ enhancing projects the much admired Creative People and Places programme will enable local residents in Havering to dream up, debate and realise.

"It's brilliant to be working in a new partnership in places where more arts and culture can make a real difference, at a time of such change in the borough."

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Clarion Futures, Havering Colleges, the Havering Interfaith Forum, the Havering Volunteer Centre, Havering Youth Services and myplace, the Rainham Association for Village Events and the Mercury Shopping Centre are all part of the project.

Havering Changing will target communities in Harold Hill, Romford, Rainham including the Orchard Village estate.

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Joyce Wilson, area director London Arts Council England, added: "Creative People & Places was established to enable communities to direct their own cultural programmes and increase engagement in the arts, and I am really pleased we are able to support Havering Changing and its plan for the borough.

"Havering has one of the lowest levels of engagement in publicly supported arts and culture, not because of any lack of interest, but because of a lack of opportunity.

"This project will enable people to test their own ideas, support their ambition and let the community shape how, why and when they engage in cultural activity.

"We know place-based arts and culture has a huge impact on people's lives, and the communities they live in, and look forward to seeing how the project contributes to positive change in the borough."

Visit the Arts Council website to find out more.

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