Rich Mix Cultural Centre in Bethnal Green

Oona King is Chair of the Rich Mix Cultural Centre in Bethnal Green. Officially launched on 25 April by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, the Rich Mix project aims to celebrate London's diverse cultural communities through an extensive arts, education, entertainment and training programme.

Rich Mix has already raised £13m towards its total capital target of £19m and has secured two warehouses on Bethnal Green Road, to be extensively refurbished and rebuilt, which will house the Rich Mix Centre.

When opened in early 2004, the Centre will contain:

• a multi-screen cinema complex
• visual arts and new media gallery spaces of international quality
• a permanent base for two leading arts training agencies
• recording studios and rehearsal space
• an IT suite for training, communications and study
• a ground level café bar
• affordable workspace for cultural business enterprise
• a spectacular roof space arts venue for events and live performance.

One of the core aims of Rich Mix is to provide opportunities for young people to be mentored by, and work with, established arts practitioners and cultural businesses, and develop careers in the arts and cultural industries. For instance, film students from London Guildhall University will not only have use of the cinemas as lecture and teaching spaces for their courses, but will also benefit from work and training placements with the businesses housed within the centre.

In June this year Lord Waheed Alli accepted the position of Chair of the Rich Mix Funding Council following discussions with Oona King. Lord Alli said: “I am delighted to take up this position as I think the project is one of the most exciting and ambitious cultural developments around arts education and social inclusion.”