£100,000 boost for Harlesden culture

Posted on: 20/05/2021 in: News

Harlesden cultural organisations will receive £100,000 to launch a series of community-led activities on and around the High Street over the next two years.

The grant from Historic England is the latest in a string of investments in Harlesden, designed to boost public and community spaces, local businesses, as well as to celebrate local cultures.

The Young Brent Foundation will lead a Consortium of 9 local organisations (yet to be announced). Together, they will create and deliver a series of cultural programmes, building on Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture. The programmes will reflect and highlight the rich, diverse heritage of Harlesden and those who call the area home.

As well as getting young people involved and excited in the cultural life of their area, the programme will give participants the opportunity to build digital skills, host workshops and other events.

Harlesden High Street has been designated a Heritage Action Zone by Historic England, one of over 60 across the country. This latest announcement follows the news in March of a million-pound investment to restore historic buildings, like the former HSBC bank, and to breathe new life into Harlesden Town Centre, revamping listed shop fronts.

Cllr Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning, said: “Harlesden has a rich cultural heritage, woven together by the people who call it home. The funding will help shine a light on previously unexplored corners of that diverse tapestry.

“It’s all part of the wider investments we’re making to breathe new life into Harlesden town centre and help boost local businesses there. The past year has been incredibly tough, which is why we’re joining hands with local organisations like the Young Brent Foundation to help create opportunities for local people, and especially our young people. I look forward to seeing the programme develop and unfold over the coming years.”

Chris Murray, CEO of the Young Brent Foundation, said: “We are overjoyed with the funding from Historic England and partners into Harlesden. One thing is certain: things will not remain the same. Looking at community life through the lens of art and culture will help the young people of Harlesden to reshape and reimagine their own future. We are so excited to see the brilliance that young people will bring to this project, and to support them with whatever they choose to share, build, or celebrate about their local communities.”

Emily Gee, Regional Director, Historic England in London and the South East, said: “The High Streets Cultural Programme is such an important – and exciting – way of bringing people back to their cherished high streets in need of love. We are working together to regenerate historic high streets through conservation and building work, and this community-led cultural activity programme will draw people back to enliven and shape these special places for the future.”

The funding is part of the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

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