The finalists shortlisted for the Reading Cultural Awards 2018 have been announced by Reading UK.

Nearly 600 nominations were submitted for the 2018 awards which celebrate the best of Reading’s arts, culture and heritage. The entries have now been whittled down to 38 finalists [see notes to editors] across 12 categories in the 2018 Reading Cultural Awards.

Finalists include a music festival which raises money for Reading Mencap – Are You Listening Festival, a musical performance on Reading Station, a multi-artist project to create ‘lillies’ to mark Oscar Wilde’s links with the town, a play celebrating West Indian cricketer, Gordon Greenidge’s, association with Reading,  photographers, arts trails, unusual arts venues, Reading’s natural and architectural heritage and a disability arts publication. [see notes for full list of finalists]

Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director of Reading UK, organisers of the awards, said: “The number and calibre of nominations for this year’s awards is even more impressive than 2017, which demonstrates not only that the Reading Cultural Awards are becoming a well-established part of the Reading calendar, but also that the cultural scene in Reading is going from strength to strength.

“Arts, culture and heritage are at the heart of what makes Reading such a great place to live, work and do business. As the cream of creativity in our town, our finalists are flying the flag for the vibrancy of Reading locally, regionally and nationally.”

The awards recognise excellence in arts, culture and heritage across 12 categories to reflect the breadth of the Reading arts scene, including a Made in Reading Award, Cultural Ambassador Award, Young Talent, Cultural Space Award and Performance of the Year.

The Reading Cultural Awards will culminate in a glitzy awards ceremony on 27 June at the historic Olympia Ballroom. The Awards are organised by Reading UK, with support from Haslams, Jacobs the Jewellers, the Olympia Ballroom and The Banquet Kitchen, BBC Radio Berkshire, The Oracle Shopping Centre, Cream Design, Barton Willmore, Grant Thornton UK, The Breeze Reading, The Reading Chronicle and Reading BID.

To read the list of finalists and to book tickets for the Awards ceremony, visit www.readingculturalawards.org