The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

HLF announces support for Mayor’s Story of London 2010 


Following last year's success, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is once again supporting Mayor Boris Johnson’s Story of London – back this October with an ambitious ten day cultural festival that will once again see events taking place across the capital. 

The theme, which will honour London’s rich history as a centre for ground-breaking ideas, invention and pioneers, has been embraced by HLF, who have awarded nearly £100,000 to projects that will feature in this years programme of events.

This year’s awards to London community groups, heritage and arts organisations show an exciting legacy of famous figureheads and unsung heroes, charting the ever-changing face of London as a city of ground-breaking ideas and innovation. From the stories behind London’s famous historical Blue Plaques to the development of Bow for the forthcoming Olympics, or the history social housing in the East End, London’s street theatre, and Ghandi’s student days in Wandsworth, a myriad of inspiring stories are waiting to be told this Autumn.

Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London, said: “From boroughs across the city it’s fantastic to see Londoners young and old getting involved and interpreting this year’s theme of innovation for a second exciting festival programme. We look forward to hearing more over the coming months from those volunteering their time to research the heritage that inspires them to put on the exhibitions, street theatre, artworks and guided walks that will go towards this years Story of London.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund are working with us again. The projects they are supporting during the Story of London offer a wonderful insight into the important role that our city has had in architecture, social policy and political ideas. The Story of London is about invention, ideas and exploring the city. Who knows, you too might be inspired to instigate the next big thing.”

Story of London 2010 is being organised by the Mayor of London in partnership with a range of organisations, including funding partners the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, and the London Museums Hub. Events are taking place all across the capital.

A selection of the HLF funded projects taking part in the festival includes:

• Young Olympic Tour Guides: LB Tower Hamlets  
Eastside Community Heritage, a registered Newham based charity has been awarded just over £8,000 so young people can work in partnership with local community groups to explore Bow’s local heritage over the past 80 years and the area that now forms the Olympic site. Summer workshop activities will culminate in two public walking tours and an exhibition at the View Tube next to the Olympic Park to be launched on October 1st.

• 14th Floor - The social housing of Tower Hamlets through art, archives and ambulation: LB Tower Hamlets
Just under £10,000 awarded to Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives will see them working in partnership with Bow Arts Trust with 15 local volunteers to inspire local residents to research the history of social housing in the area, to produce an exciting range of festival activities including public walking tours, a film and a launch event.

• Innovative Cultures: LB Tower Hamlets
Blue Plaques are a frequent sight around the capital – but what’s the story behind the name? The Change Community have been given a £10,000 grant to work with local Somali and Bengali communities to uncover the local story of four famous names seen around the borough – Mahatma Gandhi, Edith Cavell, Captain James Cook, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel – ending in guided walks and an exhibition.

• On Our Street: exploring the people and places of the King’s Head Theatre and Upper Street: LB Islington
Known as the 'original pub theatre' and famous amongst locals and wider audiences alike, the King’s Head will become the subject of four street theatre performances around Upper Street (commencing at Islington Green) as part of this year’s festival with a grant of £9,500. The performances, devised by Occam’s Razor Theatre Company, will include volunteers from Islington’s community and professional actor/musicians.

• Word Factory: LB Sutton
Awarded £10,000 for a 5 month project, Sutton Leisure Management will be holding a series of ‘Word Factory’ workshops at local community centres and libraries based on the industrial heritage of South London such as printing, textiles and fireworks supported by the River Wandle. Participants will also have the chance to explore the local arts and crafts movement and legacy of William Morris, while they build creative visions for how they imagine the area to be in 2025.

• I Heart History: LB Havering
This project, awarded a £9,900 grant, will see volunteers bring alive the uplifting story of the new Havering Museum in Romford's Old Brewery. It will record how a group of 'ordinary' people fought against the odds to find a permanent space in which to showcase the rich history of their local area. Featuring amongst the festival programme will be art workshops, oral history sessions and lunchtime history talks.

• Gandhi in London: LB Wandsworth
This innovative project will see young volunteers work with Asian led theatre company Tara Arts to translate the history of Gandhi’s three years studying law in London in the late 19th century to the stage. Festival goers will be able to see dramatic performances of Ghandi’s speeches revealing the city’s influence on his life.

Notes to editors

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK, including £865million to projects in London alone.

Celebrate the capital's rich history as a centre for world-beating ideas, invention and pioneers from 1-10 October, when the Mayor's Story of London festival returns. Around 100 events are being planned for audiences from every corner of the capital to get involved in, encouraging them to share in the story of this extraordinary city.

Organised by the Mayor of London in partnership with a range of organisations, including funding partners the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and the London Museums Hub (Renaissance London), one of the aims is to raise the profile of cultural attractions throughout the city, to people living locally, as well as Londoners from across the capital and tourists.

With a wide variety of events and activities, get out and explore the city, discover the role that London has played in technological, cultural and social advances – and explore how it will develop as it faces the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

To find out more about 2010 Story of London

Further information

HLF Press Office, Vicky Wilford on 020 7591 6046 / 07973 401937 or or Phil Cooper on 020 7591 6033 or  

Ben McKnight, Mayor of London's Press Office on 020 7983 4071 or

Ghandhi in London 
Ghandhi in London