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Crossrail helps fund Islington’s innovative ‘Word Festival 2013’

By Stuart Buss

Crossrail helps fund Islington’s innovative ‘Word Festival 2013’

A £15,000 donation through Crossrail’s Community Investment Programme from contractor BFK has enabled Islington’s ground-breaking ‘Word Festival’ to take place for the second year running.

The Word Festival runs until the 31st May, with more than 50 events taking place at some of Islington’s most inspiring landmarks including Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and the former Astoria and Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, famous for hosting legendary concerts by artists including Jimmi Hendrix, Bob Marley, and The Who.

There will be creative writing workshops with Birkbeck University and Mills & Boon, Bollywood Punch and Judy shows, 100 Word Plays and Secret Radio Plays. A showcase of six brilliant new plays by professional and aspiring writers at Highbury Fields, a Spring Ball (a ‘tea dance with a difference’) at Islington’s Assembly Hall and reading ‘flash mobs’ are further highlights.

Crossrail contractor BFK, who is carrying out works for the new Crossrail Farringdon station, has made the donation as part of the Crossrail Community Investment Programme, which requires contractors delivering Crossrail works to support the communities in which they are working. Their donation has helped secure further support from the Arts Council and Islington UNISON.

Islington Council's executive member for health and wellbeing, Councillor Janet Burgess said: "The Word Festival is an important part of our ‘Islington Reads’ programme, focusing on how we can help residents get jobs, skills and training through the promotion of reading. With so many different types of events going on across the borough in May, there's something to interest everyone - whether you're looking for a free family outing or wanting to brush up on your poetry skills.  I'm sure this year's festival will be as popular as ever, so I'd urge residents not to delay and start booking their places for events."

BFK’s Project Director, Peter Bimson, said: “We are committed to making a positive difference in the communities where we work and believe that reading and writing are essential building blocks for happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.” 

Crossrail’s Community Investment Manager, Jack Day, said: “The Word Festival is exactly the kind of project that we want to support and we really welcome BFK’s involvement. Crossrail’s Community Investment Programme is an ambitious undertaking; we want to work with our neighbours alongside the Crossrail works to deliver lasting benefits to communities across London.”


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For more information on the Islington Word Festival go to

About Crossrail:

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.