Barnet Council is to receive £200,000 in funding to launch a new festival in the borough thanks to winning a Mayor of London Cultural Impact Award.

The Light & Flight festival will be developed in partnership with the RAF Museum based in Colindale and will celebrate Barnet’s crucial role in the development of aviation. The festival will hail the pioneering aviators who defined the early era of powered flight, including trailblazing women pilots Amy Johnson and Edith Maud Cook, who defied the societal norms of the day and made flying history. Other leaps forward will be recognised, such as Hendon being the take-off aerodrome for the world’s first air mail delivery.

Cllr Ammar Naqvi, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Arts & Sport, said:

“We’re delighted to win the Mayor of London’s Cultural Impact Award. It will enable us to stage the ambitious Light & Flight festival and mark Barnet’s leading role in the early evolution of powered flight. Our festival will celebrate the world-defining technological and social leaps forward that started here, in our borough.  It will reflect and embrace the many ways that aviation has broken down barriers and brought people together in ways that have enriched us all.”

Sarah Castle, Head of Access and Learning at the RAF Museum said:

“The RAF Museum is excited to be a part of this creative and ambitious project. Celebrating Hendon as the birthplace of aviation through the medium of light is a fantastic way of engaging the whole community. We hope to honour the legacy of Claude Grahame-White who built the first aerodrome here back in 1911, while looking forward to other ‘firsts’ that the amazing residents of Barnet may go on to achieve in the future.”

Morwenna Hall, Executive Director at Related Argent, said:

“Congratulations to Barnet Council on securing a Cultural Impact Award for its Light & Flight festival in partnership with the RAF Museum in Colindale. The award is testimony to the borough’s commitment to nurture access to public art and culture and the additional funding it unlocks will bolster the Council’s support for local cultural talent. Through our joint venture at Brent Cross Town, we look forward to continuing to support the council with its public art and culture programmes in the years ahead.”

Barnet Council will work with partners at the RAF Museum and joint venture partner for the delivery of Brent Cross Town Related Argent, as well as local libraries, businesses, community groups and local schools to create and curate the Light & Flight festival. The audio-visual programme of events will include art installations commissioned from local artists, art trails and virtual reality experiences. Marking Barnet’s role in air mail, the Postcard Project will involve intergenerational and interfaith storytelling between residents of eight twinned towns to foster stronger community connections. The council will match fund the Cultural Impact Award to the sum of £60,000.

To find out more about arts and culture across the borough please visit


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