A place that tackles inequality head-on, respecting diversity and including all residents in the opportunities we create.

Setting the scene

There’s great will across the Council and partners for everyone to enjoy the benefits of participation in culture. The borough is rich in what it can offer but not all residents are able to engage with these opportunities.

There are many reasons for this. For example, some people feel they don’t have the information about what’s available, or there are no activities very close to where they live, or activities do not seem relevant to them, or they are not sure if they will feel welcome.

Engagement in culture significantly contributes to individuals’ health, contentment, and overall wellbeing.

It offers a platform for self-expression and cultural celebration. It forms a medium for voicing what matters to people and it develops our sense of community so that people feel they belong.

Our local history and heritage are more than just relics of the past; they are vital parts of our community’s identity; they help us understand where we’ve come from, educate us and make Hammersmith & Fulham what it is today.

The borough’s impressive array of cultural and arts organisations and heritage sites are valued by residents who have told us that they would make better use of them if it was easier to find out what’s on offer.

In our discussions with the public and people active in the cultural and creative sector, we found immense pride in the borough’s artistic flair, creativity and heritage. There is a lot of positive energy in the borough to make it a stronger, happier and more resilient place. 

Inclusion is a measure of how safe and welcome people feel in their environment and the opportunities they have to make decisions on matters that affect them. Building on the borough’s many community strengths we want to ensure more people have access to the full range of ways to participate in culture whether as creators, participants, audiences, volunteers or leaders.

There should be no barriers to people’s engagement.

However, invisible hurdles do exist including cost (of tickets, or travel or childcare), accessibility, interest or knowledge. They disproportionately affect people living in Hammersmith & Fulham with protected characteristics.

Increasing the number of residents who participate in arts, culture and heritage starts with working together to understand the needs of our communities and how they change over time. In addition, agency is critical – the ability to create, produce, present and enjoy cultural product is limited for some groups in our society and active steps are needed to address this.

Our shared local history and heritage can have a significant impact in helping people to understand themselves and those around, and to feel part of the place. We can increase that understanding and appreciation by engaging more with young people in schools and by sharing experiences and stories across the generations.

The council’s archives service can provide access to a wide range of resources and help to navigate them while providers in the voluntary sector play an important role in ensuring oral histories, family records and stories are preserved for future generations.

Our opportunities

  • Build on work to date to establish heritage trails, mark inspirational individuals who’ve lived in Hammersmith & Fulham and provide resources for schools to understand our past
  • Seek resources to support communities to develop neighbourhood-based capacity which puts local people in the driving seat to create events and activities they value
  • Embed the story of Hammersmith & Fulham in the Civic Campus, through the presence of the Archives service, including a youth-led and co-produced approach to promoting this through our schools as a learning opportunity
  • Incorporate good practice in ensuring our events and cultural activities are environmentally sustainable
  • Use the power of culture as a medium to surface, debate and highlight issues affecting the natural world, our climate and environment
  • Work with artists with disabilities and disability arts organisations locally to develop proposals to support them through accessible space and resource at the Civic Campus
  • Build relationships with the public health and voluntary sectors to support creative ageing and dementia friendly cultural programmes
  • Ensure a wide range of events celebrating the diverse population of the borough is promoted and welcomes all residents and visitors to experience the rich cultures of those who live here

How we'll get there

Create a Black History Museum and a more prominent Black History Month


  • Work with historical groups, members of the Windrush generation and others to progress feasibility of a Black History Museum - to review sites, content and funding options

More residents, from a wider range of backgrounds, participate in arts, culture and heritage – including in community and professional venues and public spaces as creators, audiences and leaders


  • Deliver a programme that promotes outdoor community theatre and music events in local neighbourhoods
  • Explore a role for the Events Team in supporting different communities to celebrate, volunteer and showcase their culture
  • Explore the potential for the Civic Campus to offer an inclusive programme engaging local people with issues in the area
  • Use the civic collections to bring our past to life and stimulate debate about our collective future
  • Build on our improved approach to data collection and analysis to better understand how our residents participate in arts, culture and heritage

Residents of all backgrounds have agency to engage in creative activities of relevance to them as artists, participants and leaders


  • Scale up our ‘What’s On’ guide to further promote the borough’s cultural offer
  • Collaborate with the Sands End Arts & Community Centre Trust to amplify opportunities for all residents to engage in all art forms
  • Work with partners including the Lyric and Bush theatres and LAMDA to increase opportunities for all local people to participate in creative and artistic activities
  • Work with local arts and entertainment venues to provide affordable and accessible arts and cultural experiences for residents who might otherwise find it difficult to participate
  • Use the presence of the Archives service at the Civic Campus to connect people to local history and the exciting future opportunities in our creative economy

Our arts, cultural and heritage organisations flourish with the help of volunteers


  • Formulate a comprehensive, shared plan with partners to increase participation in volunteering, aligning resources for maximum effect
  • Develop and build on outreach programmes tailored for people with disabilities to include a focus on volunteering and foster inclusivity in cultural participation
  • Cultivate a network of volunteer champions for culture and the environment