At a glitzy awards ceremony at The Olympia Ballroom last night (29 June), the winners of the inaugural Reading Cultural Awards were announced before an audience of over 300 from Reading’s arts community and local businesses.

Over 350 nominations were received for the Reading Cultural Awards 2017, and at the ceremony last night, 13 were announced as the winners. They included Artangel’s massively popular opening of Reading Prison, Reading Between The Lines new play about Reading’s King Henry I that played to 3000 people in 2016, a 14 year old French horn player and composer Alice Knight and ‘as seen on TV choir’ The Bulmershe Ensemble. The full list of winners:-

  • Reading Place of Culture Ambassador AwardInside at Reading Prison by Artangel (sponsored by Reading UK CIC)
  • Performance of the YearHenry I by Reading Between The Lines Theatre Company
  • Cultural Space of the Year – SITELINES, theatre in unusual spaces programme curated by South Street
  • Best Education ProjectInfamous by Berzerk Productions
  • Young talent under 25 – Alice Knight of Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Cultural Organisation of the Year – Jelly
  • The Made in Reading AwardHenry I by Reading Between The Lines
  • Visual Arts Event of the Year – Inside at Reading Prison by Artangel
  • Celebrating Readings Heritage Award – The Hidden Abbey Project
  • Reading Arts and Business in Partnership – Haslams Estates Agent
  • Festival of the Year – Reading Fringe Festival
  • Business innovation in the Arts – Light Up Reading
  • Judges Special Award – Bulmershe Ensemble

Download the Reading Cultural Awards 2017 winners brochure

The Reading Cultural Awards were set up by Reading UK CIC to celebrate all that is great about the Reading arts and culture scene. The Awards provided an opportunity for Reading’s arts and cultural community, businesses and supporters to come together to celebrate the amazing achievements over the last year. The awards were hosted by Ady Williams of BBC Radio Berkshire with performances by Alex Nemmy, Annual Daydream Harvest and The Bulmershe Ensemble

Adam Jacobs, Chair of Reading UK CIC, said: “Reading UK CIC is absolutely delighted that these inaugural awards have met with such a wonderful reception. While we are of course thrilled for the winners who will be great ambassadors for Reading, it is the range and quality of all the entries that showcases Reading as such a cultural melting pot. Arts and culture are at the heart of what makes this town such a great place to live, work and do business.”

Reading UK CIC would like to publicly thank The Olympia Ballroom for its amazing support for the Reading Cultural Awards. Without their support, we could not have organised last night’s awards ceremony. We would also like to thank our media partner, The Reading Chronicle.

The awards were presented by Sir John Madejski, Sir David Bell (University of Reading), Hedley Swain (Arts Council England), Melvin Benn (Festival Republic), Bridgitte Tetteh (BBC Radio Berkshire), Paul Newman (Reading College Activate Learning), Sam Butler (Fevered Sleep), Andy Briggs (Oracle Shopping Centre), Prianka Dillon (The Olympia Ballroom), Fiona Talkington (BBC Radio 3), Adam Jacobs (Reading UK CIC), Samantha Harman (Reading Chronicle), Cllr Sarah Hacker (Reading Borough Council)

The awards were judged by a panel from Reading’s arts organisations, businesses, sponsors and local arts enthusiasts: Suzanne Stallard, Kirsti Wilson, Zsuzsi Lindsay, Emma Wilson (The Olympia Ballroom), Irene Cameron, Cheryl Dibden ( Waterstones), Councillor Sarah Hacker (Reading Borough Council), Samantha Harman (Reading Chronicle), Shelley Taylor (Hammerson), Kayleigh Hodges (Reading Borough Council), Mary Genis (Culture Mix), Annette Howarth (RG Spaces).

Full details of the winners, finalists and all the nominees can be found at