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Council opens up funding for Windrush project

After the withdrawal of Ignite Imaginations, the Council are looking for organisations with more of a ‘connection’ and ‘knowledge’ of Sheffield’s Black, African and Caribbean communities.

Sheffield town hall autumn
Raygar He (Unsplash)

In June, it was discovered that Sheffield City Council had awarded funding for a Windrush project to an all-white organisation, Ignite Imaginations. A group of local activists and creatives, who call themselves the Collective, expressed their concerns with the inappropriateness of Ignite taking on this project, which resulted in the charity withdrawing from the project.

Sheffield City Council has now opened up applications to organisations wishing to submit their expressions of interest in this project that aims to "enhance Windrush Generation memories within Sheffield City Archive’s collection of Black history artefacts and content."

The Council had been awarded £5,000 by the Windrush Day Grant Fund, which was the money made available to Ignite Imaginations. However, the Council will now match this funding, making a total of £10,000 available for the project.

The Council says applicant organisations should be able to run a series of workshops or events which use arts-based engagement by 31 October 2021, as well as a Windrush celebration event for the city showcasing the content and output of the workshops.

The funding can support both existing successful projects or new projects or programmes in Sheffield. Applications will be looked at by a panel of independent community representatives and Council staff, with the criteria for applicants listed as a:

  • Connection and reach to Sheffield’s Black, African and Caribbean communities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with BAME community organisations in the city and engage as widely as possible.
  • Depth of knowledge of Windrush generation/Black history and archiving practices.
  • Ability to deliver the project on time (by 31 October) and to budget (£10,000).
  • How you will measure your success.

Although the criteria don't explicitly state that a Black-led organisation that is embedded and engaged within Sheffield’s Black, African and Caribbean communities would be the most appropriate for this project, activists will see the announcement as a move in the right direction.

Expressions of interest or questions can be emailed to equalitiesandinvolvement@sheffield.gov.uk. The deadline for applications is 23 August 2021 at 5pm.

Successful applicants can expect to hear by the end of August 2021.

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