Cultural Celebrations Fund 2023 to 2024

Frequently asked questions  

Applications for the Cultural Celebrations Fund 2023 to 2024 are now closed

Please ensure you read the application guide in full. FAQ’s will be added to the list as they arise, so please check this page regularly.

If you have any further questions about the fund please submit them to:

Can we apply using video or audio?

If you prefer to speak about your project instead of write about it, that's fine. Just tell us in the application form that this is your preferred way of answering each question. You can then add a link to your recording(s) at the end under 'Additional documentation'. Make sure you still answer all the questions. Try not to make the running time any longer than it would take to read a written form.

How can I add links to additional documents and media?

You can include links to documents, images or videos that are hosted on the web. There is space to include them under Supporting Information. For example, you can include a link to your YouTube video or photographs on Flickr that you want to use to support your application.

Google Drive can store documents, video or images. You can share a link to these by selecting 'anyone with the link'. The same can be done through WeTransfer using the ‘get a link’ option.

If you need assistance with this part of your application, please contact the Events Team via email or by phone 020 7525 3422.

If an application is successful what is the timeline for the payment of grant instalments?

80% of the grant will be paid up front, on signature of the funding agreement. 20% will be paid on receipt of the evaluation report, which must be submitted within a month of the event. If you are a new payee, you will also need be set up as a vendor on the council system, which will require extra time. Please factor this timeline into your cash-flow planning.

Can the event take place in a public space not managed by Southwark Council?

Events must be delivered in an outdoor space managed by Southwark council. If you would like help identifying a suitable space for your event, please contact the Events team.

Are local traders permitted to charge for their services at the event? 

Yes. Traders are permitted to charge for specific services at your event i.e. food and beverages. Access to the event itself, and a sufficient proportion of the activities that make it up must be free of charge.

Can budgets be submitted in an alternative format to the template included in the application form?

You should include as a minimum, summaries of all income and expenditure in the category headings listed on the application form. You can submit a more detailed budget if you wish. It can be shared via a web link in the Supporting Information section of the application form.

Can budgets be submitted in an alternative format to the template included in the application form?

You should include as a minimum, summaries of all income and expenditure in the category headings listed on the application form. If you wish to submit a more detailed budget, you may do so by sharing a link to an Excel sheet using Google Drive in the Supporting Information section of the application form. 

Is there a specific spend-per-head benchmark to assess an event's value for money?

No. The panel will assess value for money based on various factors particular to each event, including

  • how established the event is
  • whether the funding requested is all of the income for an event or part of range, including other Southwark Council sources
  • whether similar events already serve the community your event is intended to serve

Will there be council support for marketing the events that are awarded funding?

Some specific marketing support can be offered, but this will be limited. It will include social media mentions, a press release and an invitation to list your event on the Southwark Presents website. If other opportunities to promote the funded events arise, we will do our best to maximise their marketing value for event organisers. For example, feature opportunities in council newsletters or publications. This will depend on dates, deadlines and capacity. We are unable to offer direct support on leafleting, flyering or poster production and distribution. The Events team may be able to advise on how to seek permission from council colleagues for outdoor banner advertising.

With regards to the Climate Emergency can environmental activist groups be invited to participate in funded events, or is this likely to be regarded as political content?

Please check with the Events team if you are unsure about including campaigning or activist groups in your event programme. If the groups are not politically affiliated and their agenda supports the council's Climate Strategy and Action Plan, their involvement in your event is likely to be acceptable. 

Is there a list of spaces managed by Southwark Council in which events could take place?  

Yes. See details of all parks and open spaces managed by the council. If you would like to use a space that is not listed on our website, but you believe is managed by Southwark Council please contact the events team to check.

Are green areas on council estates considered as Southwark-managed spaces? 

Most spaces of this kind are managed by the local tenants and residents association (TRA), not Southwark council's events team. They would therefore not be eligible locations. Please contact us if you have a space in mind and we can check.

Is it possible to apply for multiple events on one application?

Proposals for a series of events are eligible as well as for single events.

What is the decision-making process?  

The decision-making process was designed in 2021 to be transparent, fair and informed by a diversity of perspectives. The panel represent a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and experiences, and all have a good knowledge of the borough. The panel will score the applications against the published criteria and then ensure there is a spread of supported events across the borough. These recommendations are then approved by the Cabinet Member for Equalities, Neighbourhoods and Leisure and published.

Are the workshop slides available to applicants?

All the information from the workshop slides is already on the Cultural Celebrations Fund web pages.

Do we need to have previous event management experience? 

You should not be put off applying for the fund if you are new to events, but you will need to demonstrate how event management is going to be safely and successfully delivered. You may be advised to involve a specialist or partner organisation to be responsible for the event management function at your event. If that is the case we recommend that you name the event management provider(s) in your application and build their fee into your budget.

Will interviews with shortlisted applicants take place in person or online?

They will be offered online, but if you prefer to meet in person this can be arranged.

What events have been funded in the past?

The following events which were offered funding in the Cultural Celebrations Fund 2022/23:


Event Organiser


Event Date

Funding amount

Expected Audience

Soundcamp (SC9)

Soundcamp CIC

Stave Hill Ecological Park, Surrey Docks




Move Yo’ Brass

Brass Roots & Limb2Limb

Camberwell Green

07/05/22 – 25/07/22



Forward Newington – A Festival of Hope!

Friends of Pasley Park

Pasley Park, Newington

31/05/22 – 31/07/22



Camberwell Arts Festival

Camberwell Arts

Camberwell Green



1,000 – 1,500

Identities – Latin American Film Festival

South London Film Festival


Dulwich Park, Dulwich Village

25/06/22 – 26/06/22



Mint Street Music Festival

Mint Street Music Festival CIC

Mint Street Park, Borough & Bankside




Bermondsey Carnival Bitesize

Blue Bermondsey BID

Southwark Park, Rotherhithe




Blue Elephant Theatre Street Parties

Blue Elephant Theatre

Wyndham Road, Camberwell Green

20/08/22 – 25/03/23


200 - 400

Carnaval del Pueblo

Carnaval del Pueblo Asociación

Burgess Park, Faraday




Day of Dance

Candoco Dance Company

Peckham Library Square, Peckham

30/08/22 – 03/09/22



Do we need to calculate the event’s carbon footprint?

This is encouraged but not essential for small events. There are several online carbon calculators. You can use whichever method is most useful for your event. Some resources include:

  • Julie’s Bicycle - Carbon calculator used by lots of Arts Council funded organisations but not specifically events.
  • Vision 25 - Travel Carbon Calculator, aimed at larger events.
  • Gala festival’s sustainability report 2022 - published following their event on Peckham Rye in 2022. It may be a useful starting point for what to include in your calculations.

Can we apply if our event is taking place in both Council managed spaces and private or independently managed spaces?

We are unlikely to fund events which are not entirely taking place in Council managed spaces. Please email if you can speak to discuss this with a member of the Events Team.

The reason we specific Council managed spaces is because the funding is largely generated by hire fees from external events which take place in these spaces. We want to be able to share the money back with the community. There are also practical benefits in terms of managing suitability and dates when events are planned for public spaces in Southwark.

Could a small event be granted the maximum amount of funding?

The number of people expected to attend an event will be one criteria applications are assessed again, but there is also focus on value. A small event may be offered the maximum amount of funding if the application demonstrates how the event will offer good value for money.

Do I need to attach my CV or my organisation’s CV?

Attach both if you have them - we are looking for information on whoever is involved with the planning and delivery of the event.

Could you clarify the difference between Culture Together Grant and Culture Celebrations Fund? Can we apply for both?

The Culture Together Grant is intended for ongoing activities, not a one-off event. There is no restriction on applying to both funds.

Can I have help with the form?

Yes, we can't write the form for you, but can book in a 1-2-1 session to help explain the application process.

Can a church apply?

Yes, churches and other places of worship can apply.

Can equipment be included in the budget, for example if we need to replace our gazebos?

You can apply for funding for an event which needs to use a gazebo. The purchase or hire of equipment can be included in your budget for the event.

If unsuccessful do you provide feedback to help future applications?

Yes we can provide feedback on applications upon request.

Page last updated: 13 February 2023

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