Wandsworth Arts and Culture Strategy

The Wandsworth Arts and Culture Strategy recognises the opportunities that exist for residents and visitors to engage with, experience and enjoy arts and culture. It is also a long-term, 10 year visioning document that expands on what is currently available and looks forward to a borough thriving with more arts and culture engagement opportunities that celebrates the diversity found within the borough, develops routes into creative careers and ensures access and availability to all residents so that they can start well, live well and age well.  

Wandsworth historically has a rich cultural offer. Ranging from the hyper local - amateur dramatics, crafts, skateboard parks and pub music, to national and international arts and cultural institutionsWandsworth prides itself on welcoming innovative organisations that have made the borough their home and further embed culture into our vibrant cultural ecology and the lives and homes of our residents. 

Arts and culture during COVID-19

There are notable opportunities for Wandsworth's cultural provision and offer, in terms of extending its geographical reach, diversity of art forms and role as an innovative leader in the sectorWe are aware that we are bringing forward this work at an unprecedented time of challenge and change and that the cultural landscape will inevitably be affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, we are responding accordingly, and our approach will be both strategic and responsive in taking this work forward.

We will be working within the Arts Council England’s Joint Cultural Needs Assessment to evidence need and inform our approach. By undertaking the following: 

  • Convening
  • Collecting
  • Consulting
  • Coordinating
  • Commissioning 
  • Checking and capturing

Our strategy

The main aim of this strategy is to empower, nurture and support all residents, communities and the creative ecology to:  

  • Inform the Council's and cultural organisations thinking as to the cultural needs of the borough in 2030, specifically how they can make art and culture accessible to all, grow with the ambition of the borough and reflect the needs and opportunities of the residents
  • Shape and influence the growth of borough's cultural ecology and help the borough be a centre of innovation, creative employment and the arts on a global and hyper local scale 
  • Support residents to develop and support their own cultural resources to meet specific needs, support stronger neighbourhoods and enhance community cohesion  
  • Embed cultural engagement opportunities in the lives of young people growing up in the borough from early years, at school and in further and higher education; supporting young people to access creative outlets to develop their talent and create pathways to paid employment in the cultural and creative industry sector
  • To support residents to start well, live well and age well, using culture as means to improve residents' health and wellbeing as well as promote lifelong learning  

As part of the investigation into priority areas, though the convening workshops, we have identified nine areas that we will explore in more detail with key arts and culture partners and stakeholders internally and externally.


Round table topics being led by external partners via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Start well, live well, age well – Wednesday 5 August 2020, 10am

Place making and community cohesion, universalism, young offenders less likely to re-offend if engaged in the arts, intergenerational, under five offer, supporting parents and older people (isolation, depression), meet other local people, networks for children and adults, importance of hobbies and discovering talent and interests, empower.

Careers and routes into creative industry jobs – Wednesday 5 August 2020, 4pm

Career pathways and progression routes, diverse creative workforce of the future, paying for staff time, responsibility of organisations, reflecting Let's Create agenda and advocacy.

Diversity -Thursday 6 August 2020, 1pm

Celebrating and amplifying local communities, stories from all parts of the community, better representing and supporting our diverse communities. 

Cultural Ecology – Monday 10 August 2020, 10am

What exists and how can it be supported? How can we continue to thrive after COVID-19?

High streets, employment, start-up and incubator spaces. What's missing and where? What can we do to grow and nurture the cultural and creative industries in the borough? (Design and tech Quarter, South London innovation corridor, potential Creative Enterprise Zones).

Young people, schools and families –  Tuesday 11 August 2020, 10am

How arts and culture can help young people at school and increase confidence reading, writing and communicating. Also, raising aspirations, more likelihood to get into University, vote and volunteer and more likely to stay in employment.

Health and Wellbeing – Wednesday 12 August 2020, 10am

Social prescribing, mental and physical health, open spaces, physical activity, dementia - music therapy, healthy eating, preventative action.

Access – Wednesday 12 August 2020, 4pm 

Access and Trust. Disability, harder to reach, culture in people's lives and organisations to be more trustworthy, build on our great disability organisations and programmes.

Partnerships and collaboration – Thursday 13 August 2020, 10am

Cross programming, co-delivery, support, networks, sharing resources, local cultural education partnership, advocacy, placemaking, on and offline.

Future Visioning – Thursday 13 August 2020, 1pm

Climate change, trust, internationally connected, what do we need to think about in a ten-year strategy? Another COVID-19, isolation, hyper local, migration, place making.

Further information

If you would like more information or would like to join a workshop, send an email at  art@wandsworth.gov.uk.