What’s behind Cultivate?

This provides background information for organisations already involved, or interested to get more involved, in Cultivate. See the Quick Links section for the easy dive.

Why get involved?

The main initial beneficiaries of Cultivate are children and young people living in and around the Nine Elms area. Now projects reach across Wandsworth borough, and separate projects have been commissioned by Lambeth council. Cultivate projects enrich their school experience, gives them voice in their changing local area, and raises their awareness of cultural opportunities and creative careers. In turn, positive outcomes for them help their schools, who are served with projects in ways that best meet their needs.

Cultural organisations benefit from sharing resources and good practice, as well as broadening their audience and increasing the profile, take-up and funding of their offer. The role of arts and cultural learning in creating vibrant, thriving communities can be reinforced and advocated.

Developers benefit because their cultural projects and engagement in the community can have even more positive impact, profile and legacy. Companies may also benefit from enhancing young people’s experience of the world of work, and creating a place that young people want to stay in and contribute to.

Evidence of need

In 2015, we consulted with teachers, developers and arts organisations. All highlighted the need for:

  • More capacity for brokerage to match projects to schools
  • More continuity and progression of projects
  • Attention to school priorities and curriculum needs
  • Responding to children and young people’s preferences and ideas
  • More celebration, profile and sharing of project outcomes
  • More support for after-school learning & informal youth provision
  • More careers inspiration in creative industries and place-making

As one of London’s seven Cultural Education Challenge projects, Cultivate also addresses needs that have been evidenced by A New Direction. See these infographics for key findings about young people’s inequality of access to culture, employment and other opportunities.

We also carried out background research into cultural learning opportunities in the area, and the shifting context of skills and careers education. This research included meetings with Wandsworth What’s Next, Wandsworth BEST, a focus group of teachers and a roundtable event of cultural and development partners.

What do we do to help?

  • The Cultivate co-ordinator keeps in touch with schools and local stakeholders to be aware of their needs. When developers and cultural organisations offer projects, they can be matched to the best schools, age groups and curriculum needs, and where applicable Cultivate can help shape these projects.
  • The Cultivate Project Planning Workbook is a key tool, providing tips, prompts, a planning canvas and participant feedback templates – everything you need to plan and evaluate a project.
  • Projects will be shared on this website, and elsewhere, highlighting the best practice and inspiring others to try similar approaches.
  • In the final year (up to March 2018), projects will be evaluated comprehensively, considering how they have achieved a step-change in access to cultural opportunities and creative skills, and a common set of Learning Outcomes.
  • Teachers will be supported to plan and champion Cultivate projects within their schools.
  • The Cultivate team commission projects directly, aiming to fill strategic gaps. These include Exploring Nine Elms and Cultivate Routes.

Who is involved?

Enable Leisure and Culture

Enable, who manage arts, leisure and culture for Wandsworth Council, are the lead organisation for Cultivate. Since early Summer 2017, Cultivate’s co-ordinator within the Enable team is Katherine Hill. Up to this point, Cultivate was developed and co-ordinated by Flow Associates, on behalf of Enable.

Cultivate is part of the London Cultural Education Challenge, managed by A New Direction, who are London’s flagship cultural education agency.

Cultural organisations 

There is a growing number of cultural partners including the Pump House Gallery, Battersea Arts CentreReachOutRCA, Chocolate Films, Up Projects, Art on the Underground and a number of cultural consultants or agencies working with developers such as Futurecity, DPQ and Aida Esposito.


Companies who are part of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership supporting Cultivate projects include Battersea Power Station Development Company, Taylor Wimpey, WANDA 1UK, Vinci St Modwen (partnering Covent Garden Market Authority), Berkeley Homes St William and Ballymore.


Initial school partners include Harris Academy Battersea, Griffin Primary, St Mary’s Primary, St George’s Primary, Chesterton Primary, St John Bosco College and John Burns Primary.