The finalists for the Reading Cultural Awards 2019

have been announced.

The awards celebrate the best of  Reading’s arts, culture and heritage.
They recognise the fantastic artists, organisations and events that have
made Reading such a great place to live,  work and do business over
the past 12 months.

The winners are announced at a glitzy awards ceremony at the
Hilton Reading on 24 June 2019. Book tickets here

Organised by Reading UK, the Reading Cultural Awards champion
the many great organisations and artists that put their creative
hearts and souls into Reading.

See here for the list of finalists




The finalists in 12 categories, from favourite arts event to cultural organisation, has been announced. The activity will have taken place between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. To nominate, you just had to tell us in 500 words or less why you think your nominee is worthy of being considered. Nominations closed on 29 April.

The Awards ceremony

The Ceremony takes place on 24 June at the Hilton Reading. Members of Reading arts and cultural community will be joined by representatives of Reading businesses and key supporters of the arts in Reading. Host for the evening will be broadcaster and Reading enthusiast Fiona Talkington. Tickets are on sale now.


We have an enthusiastic and knowledgeable panel of judges drawn from a wide range of organisations across Reading who have assessed the nominations. All the shortlisted finalists will be invited to attend the ceremony on 24 June.

Categories and criteria

Activity to have taken place between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019

The Made in Reading Award

A ‘piece’ made by a Reading artist or artists. This could be a performance, visual arts piece or cultural project but must be created within Reading.

Sponsored by

Reading Great Place Award

An artist or artistic endeavour that has promoted Reading’s talent or Reading as a cultural destination to a wider audience beyond the town.

Sponsored by

Performance of the Year

Music, theatre, dance… This performance will have caused ripples in Reading and been widely acclaimed. The performance must have taken place in Reading but does not necessarily need to have been made in Reading.

Sponsored by

Visual Arts Event of the Year

Fine art, film, etc. – the event will have been well regarded in Reading when it took place here but does not necessarily need to have been made in Reading.

Cultural Space of the Year

Dedicated arts venue or unusual space used for art….This award recognises the diversity of great places to enjoy and perform art and cultural activities in Reading.

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Celebrating Reading’s Heritage Award

A project or organisation that has raised the profile of Reading’s heritage.

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Partnership in the Arts

Demonstrating excellence in partnership working, this could be businesses working with arts organisation(s) or arts partnerships, education etc.

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Best Education Project

A project that shows the power of art and culture to engage young people and create high-quality artistic outputs.

Sponsored by

Festival of the Year

A festival that engaged a broad community and raised Reading’s profile with high-quality content and a great festival experience.

Sponsored by

Newcomer of the Year

An artist or group of artists that are displaying real talent and potential at an early stage in their development/careers.

In association with

Cultural Organisation of the Year

This organisation will have demonstrated consistently high standards in terms of output and engagement.

Sponsored by

Business Champion of the Arts

A business which has played a major contribution in supporting and developing the arts in Reading.

Sponsored by


Reading UK

Reading UK is the economic development company for Reading. Part of the management group for Reading 2016, funder of the ARENA programme through our management of the BID and the creator of the new Reading-on-Thames Festival, Reading UK believe that arts, culture and heritage are at the heart of what makes Reading tick. Reading’s cultural identity plays an important role in making Reading an exciting place to work, live or do business.

Hilton Reading

Located on Kennet Island, just a 5-minute drive from the Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading with just 26 minutes by train into London, Hilton Reading is an excellent base for exploring England. Visit attractions including Ascot Racecourse, Madejski Stadium and LEGOLAND® Windsor, plus beautiful National Trust properties Basildon Park and The Vyne. When you’re not exploring, relax in the hotel sauna, indoor pool and fitness centre, receive pamper treatments by our Evolve Beauty Team or indulge with afternoon tea or a drink in the bar followed by dinner in our restaurant. The hotel boasts 10 function rooms perfect for any event including conferences, award dinners and special occasions.