Enfield Cultural Strategy

Enfield is a large diverse London borough of stark contrasts – urban and natural environments, wealth and deprivation. It is a fast-evolving part of London with significant regeneration underway. This new Cultural Strategy will ensure that culture is part of this transition and benefits the many diverse local communities. Our aim has been to bring together the social and economic drivers underpinning the borough’s desire to strengthen cultural opportunities, whilst ensuring we consulted effectively during Covid-19 throughout 2020.

Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram, Enfield Library Green - Photography by Elizabeth Whycer

We worked closely across council teams to understand local opportunities, challenges, ambitions and the wide-ranging strategic work underway. Representatives of the cultural community completed questionnaires that drew a clear picture of the local context. A series of online round tables allowed us to shape and test the draft strategy including a vision and a series of underpinning focus areas that created a framework for an Action Plan. The round tables also invited participants to flesh out and add to the draft actions.

We identified gaps in local cultural provision. This included the need for relevant heritage influenced culture to be at the heart of place-making for current communities and new residents, and the importance of being able to participate in cultural activity that reflects local interests and identities.

Cultural Strategy Framework Diagram

Our Cultural Vision for Enfield reflects the year-long research and consultation we undertook throughout 2020.

“Our ambition is to connect Enfield through culture. We want to connect our rich history of cultivation and industry with creative activity throughout our green spaces, homes and town centres, our young people with opportunity, our diverse communities with shared celebrations and events.

As culture connects us, we will see the borough grow its economy and promote its identity more widely as a bright and diverse mix of city, countryside and creativity. We will connect organisations and ambitions across the borough to achieve our vision for Enfield together. Culture connects.”

Enfield Cultural Strategy Vision

We established three strategic priorities: Sustainable Culture, Creating Opportunities for Young People and Culture Everyday. These structure the strategic ambition to create a sustainable cultural ecology for the borough.

“D-P-Q rapidly developed an in-depth understanding of Enfield that enabled them to identify key strategic opportunities for the borough and bring on board key stakeholders. Their expertise in place-making, in public realm development and in assessing and designing cultural infrastructure have been core to the project of building a Cultural Strategy for the borough. I feel we couldn’t have had better consultants for the job.”

Rebecca Polding
Head of Cultural Services Development, Enfield Council

The strategy has five focus areas that headline the Action Plan in response to the strategic aims.

1 – ‘On the ground’ works to ensure that culture is visible in town centres and integrated in regeneration programmes. More cultural activity is needed in parks and green spaces as well as at the heart of the long-term aspiration to rewild the north of the borough as a heritage and leisure destination.

2 – ‘Right Mix’ seeks to build a more balanced cultural offer with facilities for experiencing, making and participating in a broader range of creativity and creative enterprise.

3 – ‘Supporting Growth’ seeks pathways into creative industries and to improve opportunities for networking and collaboration.

4 – ‘Celebrate’ focuses on community culture, festivals, commissions, participation and ensuring people know what is happening and how to be part.

5 – ‘Capacity’ looks to strengthen the sector’s ability to drive activity, partnership and investment.


Enfield Public Art by King Owusu - Hive Artists Studios 2020

Enfield has many strengths to build upon including a rich heritage of landscape, market gardening, industry, theatre and poetry. The five town centres are hubs for the community where culture can support diversification and generate footfall. We have encouraged the consideration of culture as part of social and economic infrastructure including within housing estate renewal of such as at the Joyce and Snells estate in Angel Edmonton where creative programmes can bring in new approaches to building community and addressing inequalities. This is now coming forward in the Good Growth funded community and creative business programme in Angel Edmonton.

Where long term development is planned at Meridian Water, we emphasized the need to look outward to existing local communities to build connections as a substantial new part of the borough emerges. A bespoke cultural strategy for this area will align with the borough’s cultural ambitions.

Many festivals take place across varied communities in towns, parks and open spaces. The ambition now is to raise the quality of culture as part and ensure activity brings different cultures together through shared interests such as food, dance and music. This will create opportunities for the borough’s talents to be shared and celebrated.

Reggae on the lawn at Forty Hall - Photography by Enfield Council

We were selected to deliver the Cultural Strategy through a tender process and commissioned by the Council’s Director of Place and Economy. We were appointed in January 2020 and the strategy was approved at committee in November 2020. We worked closely with the council and external stakeholders engaging with over 70 individuals and organisations during the thick of Covid-19. We were pleased the council sustained its commitment to the continuation of this work throughout, recognizing the value it would bring to the recovery process for the borough and its communities.

“The strategy they have shaped with us is both responsive to the borough’s needs and an ambitious vision for the future. I am grateful to them for the excellent foundation they have built for creating a vibrant and creative Enfield. We have better plans for having worked with D-P-Q and I would unhesitatingly recommend them.”

Rebecca Polding
Head of Cultural Services Development, Enfield Council
Palmers Green Festival - Photography by Enfield Council

We have since been appointed by DWS to develop a Cultural Vision and Meanwhile Plan for the Palace Square development in Enfield Town Centre. We subsequently delivered the award-winning Culture Palace project in the borough, as well as designing the refreshed Dugdale Arts Centre.

London Borough of Enfield

Previous Project