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Second wave of grants awarded under £4m racial justice fund

Metronomes Steel Band 1
Metronomes Steel Band 1

We’re happy to share that we’ve awarded three new grants, totalling more than £500,000, to Black and minority-led organisations across the capital.

The £4m racial justice fund, co-funded by Trust for London and City Bridge Foundation, is focused on reducing poverty in London’s Black and minoritised communities by increasing community wealth and income.

Race and poverty in the UK are clearly linked. Black Londoners are almost twice as likely to be in poverty than white Londoners.

All these projects aim to increase wealth and incomes within Black communities.

Explore the projects

Metronomes Steel Orchestra

Reclaiming Carnival's economic value for the Black community.

Metronomes Steel Orchestra

With support from the Racial Justice Fund, the Metronomes Economic Empowerment Development Project aims to identify the black community’s hidden and lost economic value housed in the Notting Hill Carnival economy. In doing so, we’ll develop a new value framework that centres Black culture, and the people and organisations who create it, providing a blueprint for Black cultural organisations to be self-determined and economically sustainable.

Dr. Gabriella Beckles-Raymond and Phillip Beckles-Raymond (Members of Metronomes Steel Orchestra and Project Leads for the Metronomes Economic Empowerment Development Project)

Metronomes Steel Orchestra is a Black-led grassroots organisation that has been at the heart of West London's Caribbean community for over fifty years. It’s one of the longest running steel bands in the UK and has been a key architect and ambassador of Carnival Arts in London. Through music and community programming, Metronomes brings people together in the spirit of family, supporting people across all generations including those struggling with the criminal justice system.

The challenge:

The Notting Hill Carnival is one of London’s biggest events, estimated as generating nearly £100m for the UK economy every year. But none of this income goes to the Black households, organisations and communities that create the Carnival. Reclaiming this loss of economic value through cultural organisations like Metronomes is an important aspect of economic empowerment for London’s Black community, who continue to face huge economic challenges associated with intersectional injustice.

The project:

Metronomes is working to develop alternative organisational models and structures that provide a blueprint for sustainability for Black cultural organisations that are the architects of cultural traditions like Notting Hill Carnival. The project will have three phases:

  1. Community based research, to understand and document the actual economic value of Carnival.
  2. Design new organisational models that recognise the importance of black culture for the black community, supporting self-governance and intersectionally just economic outcomes.
  3. Advocate better principles, policies and practices to protect and honour the economic value of Black culture– both in the UK generally, and specifically for the creators of Carnival.

Stour Trust CIC

Securing long-term, affordable assets for Black and minoritised communities.

Stour Trust 2

For over a decade, Stour Trust has sought to build a more equitable economic landscape that empowers black and minoritised communities. We are so pleased to be recipients of Trust for London’s Racial Justice Fund and join an incredible cohort of organisations tackling racial and economic injustice. Through our work, we are committed to ensuring that future generations live abundant lives free from poverty.

Juliet Can, Director of Stour Trust

Stour Trust is focused on innovating new models of community-led regeneration. It does this by providing affordable community, work and cultural spaces. Since it was founded in 2019, the Trust has leased and managed over 10 buildings in east London, and supported more than 1,000 enterprises, community groups and creatives with genuinely affordable spaces.

The challenge: 

Across London, very few assets are owned by Black and minoritised communities. Since the pandemic, the racial wealth gap is likely to have grown. This means that Black and minoritised-led businesses seeking to start or grow face huge challenges. A lack of affordable assets combines with gentrification to drive people and businesses away from their communities. Complex planning systems also often lock Black and minoritised people out of the benefits of new developments.

The project:

Stour Trust is working to increase the number of buildings and assets owned and managed by Black and minoritised communities. The team has a successful track record in this area, securing long-term leases on buildings available to Black and minoritised businesses at peppercorn (or genuinely affordable) rent, and with close links to the Greater London Authority (GLA) and local authorities.

Our grant will help the Stour Trust to accelerate this mission. Work will include:

  1. Research to evidence the lack of access to affordable assets by Black and minoritised communities.
  2. Work with the GLA and local authorities to strengthen policies in this area.
  3. Partnerships with developers to increase the number of affordable work and community spaces, as well as homes, available to Black and minoritised Londoners.
  4. Development of a knowledge hub to help Black and minoritised groups to better understand routes to asset acquisition.

Through this work, the Stour Trust will create long-term and lasting impact in boosting resource and asset ownership of Black and minoritised communities across London.


Tree Shepherd

Empowering Black-owned businesses, particularly those led by women, to be involved with local regeneration projects.

Tree Shepherd

London is evolving, the way we are working is changing, but the barriers feel higher than ever – especially to women and other minorities who run businesses. Currently, less than 1% of contracts are awarded to these groups, despite them making up more than 15% of businesses.

We want to change that, and to do this, we need to upskill and empower individuals and business to think and do differently. Working with Trust for London is going to enable us to carry out some much-needed training and support to help level the playing field. Let’s get cracking.

Sandra Ferguson, CEO of Tree Shepherd

Tree Shepherd supports Black and minoritised business-owners across London. It does this by collaborating with developers, councils, and other stakeholders to ensure Black and minoritised communities are involved in regeneration projects.

The challenge: 

Regeneration projects are taking place across London. But often, Black and minoritised communities are locked out of the benefits and wealth that regeneration brings to an area. Instead, rising costs mean that Black and minoritised communities are often displaced from areas experiencing regeneration.

The project: 

Tree Shepherd is engaging Black-owned businesses, particulary those led by women, in areas affected by regeneration.

Work will include workshops, monthly business community consultations and the creation of representative groups to ensure Black and minoritised communities have a say in local planning and procurement decisions.

The first wave of grants under the racial justice fund were made in 2022. Find about these projects here.