Thousands in funding up for grabs from Mayflower 400 Community Sparks

Nov 26, 2019

Community groups are being invited to apply for thousands of pounds of funding from the innovative Mayflower 400 Community Sparks scheme.

The funding is open to organisations and individuals supporting grassroots community, arts and cultural activity in Plymouth. The deadline to apply for the latest round of funding is 31 January, 2020.

Community grants of up to £3,000 are available with grants of £5,000 in exceptional circumstances. More information and an application form can be downloaded here

In the previous round of funding, 15 different community groups secured grants that will bring their projects to life.

From music and performance, to exhibitions and events, to murals and mosaics, the projects will benefit from an overall investment of £38,473 from the scheme.

All the projects will be delivered by November 2020, connecting many of the city’s neighbourhoods with the Mayflower 400 anniversary and ensuring that a range of diverse and inclusive events are part of the Plymouth’s extensive commemorative programme.

‘Mayflower 400 Community Sparks’ is a partnership between Mayflower 400, Plymouth Culture, Plymouth City Council, The Box, Plymouth and Vital Sparks. These new awards bring the total number of projects funded by ‘Mayflower 400 Community Sparks’ to an amazing 43!

Latest funded projects

The life of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, an important figure in the early links between Plymouth and America will take centre stage in an extra-ordinary community production. Ernesettle residents will create, act, build props and steward this performance free to local residents. The award of £5,000 will be managed by Four Greens Community Trust.

North Star Study Group has secured £3,948 for a touring educational digital resource exploring contemporary narratives around migration and home.

Hamoaze House has been given £3,000 to create ship’s figure head of planting and trading post activities. The trading post established in an unused part of the building will provide a place to trade stories, history and experiences as well as explore Plymouth’s maritime legacy.

A total of £3,000 will help Prime Skate Park’s Youth Forum explore skate culture through art with the aim of improving the public’s perception of skaters. 

Mayflower Our Voice will be honouring the reconciliation work currently being done in Canada. £3,000 will pay for an exhibition, talks and workshops about the experience of First Nations people.

Plymouth Design Forum’s (PDF) Mayflower 400x400 Design Challenge has been encouraging local artists and designers to produce artworks inspired by the Mayflower past and present. £3,000 will support PDF to produce an exhibition of the top 400 entries.

Plymouth & Devon Racial Equality Council’s Integration Group has secured £3,000 for its ‘Welcome?’ project, which will design and produce a series of garments and artefacts reflecting on colonialism and the impact it’s had on their cultures.

Plymouth Folk and Roots have been awarded £2,925 for a two-day folk weekend celebrating the life of folk legend Cyril Tawney’s both as a Royal Naval seaman and a folk singer/song writer in Plymouth. The festival will coincide with the 90th anniversary of his birth on October 12, 2020.

Efford Community Network and High View School will receive £2,900. The community, led by the local school will produce a film exploring the values of Mayflower 400. Young people will examine what the themes of freedom, humanity, imagination and future means to them and their neighbourhood.

Another grant of £2,900 will support the Signing Choir in Plymouth. Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and hearing signers aged nine to 86 years young will learn and rehearse six songs translated from English into British Sign Language for the '1000 Voices Big Choir Event' at the Mayflower 400 Ceremony on Plymouth Hoe next September.

YMCA Plymouth have secured £2,850 to host a Mayflower Mural Project for young people and residents in Honicknowle. In partnership with Plymouth College of Art, a series of workshops for community groups will create a public mural that will be installed on a large wall overlooking the YMCA community garden.

Did you know that Turnchapel Dockyard was used by the US 29th division troops as a debarkation point for the Normandy landings in June 1944? £1,300 will go to Turnchapel History Group to produce a film celebrating 400 years of history of this little know corner of the city.

In a tradition extending back to the 1950s, the Pembroke Street estate has held streets parties. £1,000 will fund a big Mayflower-inspired get together along with creative sessions with the local youth group in the run up to the event to create fancy dress costumes and cardboard tall ships.

Artist Kate Entwistle has been awarded £900 to commemorate everyday people. Her 'Pink Plaques' project highlights the fun, cute and bizarre memories of Plymouth through temporary plaques located around the city.

The people of Millbay and residents of Mayflower Court will benefit from a unique garden mosaic celebrating the journey of the Mayflower and the maritime history of Plymouth. To make this happen the Abbeyfield Society has been awarded £750.

Hannah Harris, CEO of Plymouth Culture, said: “The quality of applications for this round was very impressive and there’s a real energy amongst local communities to engage with the Mayflower anniversary. This made the job of selecting projects challenging but those who’ve been awarded funding represent a diverse range of proposals, all of which will respond to the Mayflower 400 commemorations in their own unique way. These projects will ensure that the Mayflower programme of activity reaches into every community and offer opportunities for some brilliant and meaningful engagement.”

The fourth round of funding is now open. Community grants of up to £3,000 are available with grants of £5,000 in exceptional circumstances. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2020.

More information and an application form can be downloaded here

For help and support with your project idea contact Fiona Evans at Vital Sparks on

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