DD2371 Africa in London – Culture Seeds programme & mentoring scheme

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
10 July 2019
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Assistant Director, External Relations and Monitoring Officer

Executive summary

MD2420 – Community Events Programme 2019-2022 – approved expenditure of £77,000 in each of 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 on a new programme to support African events across London. The purpose of this decision is to approve the receipt of income from the British Council to supplement the programme as well as further additional spend of £2,800. It also clarifies the activities the expenditure will support, which will now include a pilot mentoring scheme, and seeks approval for associated budget transfers.

Approval of the decisions below will take total expenditure on the programme to £129,800 this year and £283,800 over the three-years of the programme.

The overriding aim of the programme is to enhance the profile of existing community-led African events through the creation of an Africa in London Summer season campaign.


That the Executive Director of Communities & Intelligence approves:

1. Receipt of £50,000 income from the British Council to the Events to enhance the Africa in London programme and expenditure of the same.

2. Additional expenditure of £2,800 in 2019/20 on the programme, to pay for a community stakeholder launch event, funded by a budget transfer from the Community Engagement Team (Communities and Social Policy Unit).

3. A budget transfer of £20,000 from the Events for London programme budget (External Affairs) to the Culture Seeds programme budget (Culture and Creative Industries Unit) to reflect that elements of Africa in London will be delivered through Culture Seeds.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Greater London Authority is changing the way it supports African communities in London. ‘Africa in London’ is a new umbrella programme to support African events across London with the aim of enhancing the profile of existing community-led African events taking place in the summer and supporting the creation of an Africa in London Summer season campaign.

MD2420 approved annual expenditure of £77,000 for this programme for three years (2019-2022), which includes a stakeholder reception on/around Africa Day and an enhanced marketing campaign led by the GLA, alongside some funding to support community-led events taking place within the campaign season.

Following discussion with the Community Engagement Team (Communities and Social Policy Unit) it was agreed the programme would benefit from a community stakeholder launch event, ensuring the programme is informed by and embeds community engagement. The team will contribute £2,800 to the programme to fund the event and there will be a corresponding budget transfer.

In addition, the British Council has agreed to provide £50,000 of funding to support the programme. The funding will be divided equally between community growth projects and on additional marketing spend. These community growth opportunities will benefit participants; develop the necessary skills to contribute to and promote African creativity within the capital. The Africa in London programme scope is looking to develop further to include a new pilot mentoring scheme to support in the creation of new connections and development of skills in those starting out in the creative sector. The budget allocation for this scheme is £10,000 and will be supported through the British Council funding. External services will be procured competitively to design and deliver the mentoring scheme. The marketing spend will further raise the profile of the events which take place in the Africa in London programme. This is through further paid media and the creation of new experiential marketing initiatives which engage Londoners directly.

Finally, and following discussions with the Culture and Creative Industries Unit, it was agreed the programme’s impact would be enhanced by including a micro grants element to support small community-led arts, culture and heritage projects with an African focus that take place between 1 June-30 September 2019. These micro grants will be awarded through hand using existing Culture Seeds funding criteria and terms and conditions.

To facilitate this, a budget transfer of £20,000 from the GLA Events programme budget (External Affairs) to the Culture Seeds programme budget (Culture and Creative Industries) is required.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Approving receipt of £50k will enhance the range of community activities that can be delivered as part of this London-wide programme. Bringing communities together and increasing the engagement with London’s communities is a key driver for our community events to support social integration. To achieve this, our goals are to:

● Identify and target specific communities to support and highlight social inclusion across London;
● Utilise community events to highlight a specific theme that’s relevant to the GLA’s priorities;
● Maintain and develop a long-term relationship with the audiences;
● Raise awareness amongst communities of other policy areas;
● Set a targeted marketing reach for each community event after initial benchmarking; and
● Continue to review both qualitative and quantitative research to inform the programme’s development.

The Africa in London campaign supports the overall Community Events for London programme objectives by:

● Highlighting African-focused cultural events in London;
● Amplifying a collective voice to express the diversity of Africa in London;
● Strengthening networks between organisations locally and internationally.

The Culture Seeds funded activity will be reviewed in November 2019. This is in line with existing Culture Seeds final reporting requirements and also the overall Africa in London programme evaluation. The outputs we expect to see is an increase in applications made to Culture Seeds as a result of the Africa in London marketing campaign. Funded projects will have created more opportunities for partnerships to be formed and more communities leading and engaging in African arts culture and heritage.

The Africa in London Mentoring scheme offers London-based applicants aged 18-35 the chance to explore an area of development with an established professional to develop their career. Up to 8 mentorships will run throughout Oct to Dec 2019.

• Creating new leaders to grow African Creativity in London
• Facilitate new relationships to broaden networks.

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor of London must have ‘due Regard’ of the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have protected characteristic and those who do not.

This new funding and mentoring programmes will be open to all individuals and organisations that meet the specified criteria and who wish to apply. Applications being scored against equal criteria. Final decisions will be made by a panel of GLA Officers

The procurement for the Mentoring management will be a transparent process and will benefit from hiring an individual or organisation with a specific set of skills in this area and access to mentors.

The Culture and Creative Industries Unit will ensure that any organisations who apply have firm and robust equality policies in place at their organisations and are committed through their funding agreements to proactively apply the principles of the Equality Act 2010, and to regularly refresh their equality and diversity policies and practices.

Culture Seeds programme aims to enable greater access to funding for individuals and grassroots organisations who seek to create positive impact in their local communities and increase the opportunity for those individuals and small organisations to apply for funding who previously may not have had such access to other grant funding schemes.

Other considerations

A new mentoring scheme and additional Culture Seeds investment will deliver on the following Mayoral priorities:

● A City for All Londoners, wherein culture is outlined as the golden thread, both for integrating and strengthening communities and supporting more liveable and successful places.
● That all Londoners can benefit and participate from the city’s arts and culture.
● The Mayor’s vision for Healthy Streets, which are more welcoming to people and encourage them to make active and sustainable travel choices, for example by contributing to the healthy streets' aspiration of ‘things to see and do’.

Groundwork UK on behalf of the GLA provide grant management services for the Culture Seeds programme. These services include: advice and management of applications, assessments, due diligence, funding agreements, budget monitoring and payments processes. Groundwork UK are the data controller responsible for personal data held about Culture Seeds applicants and approved grantees. Data is managed in line GDPR legislation.

Applicants are required to have safeguarding and health & safety policies as relevant.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for, the receipt and expenditure of £50,000 in external income from the British Council towards this programme in 2019-20.

A further expenditure of £2,800, to be funded from the 2019-20 ‘Community Engagement’ programme budget within the Communities and Social Policy Unit.

A £20,000 budget virement from the ‘Events for London’ programme budget within the External Affairs Unit, to the ‘Culture Seeds’ programme budget for delivery of the Culture Seeds - Africa in London work stream.

Planned delivery approach and next steps





Africa in London summer campaign starts


Africa in London summer campaign ends


Mentoring Scheme Tender Released


Mentoring Applications Open


Mentorships run

08/10/19 - 17/12/2019

Submission of community proposals to culture seeds

01/06/2019 - 30/09/2019

Final Culture Seeds Panel meeting [project proposals consideration]


Final evaluation start and finish (self)

01/10 – 30/11/2019

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