Shortlisted in the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022

Hearts for the Arts shortlist information

The shortlist has been announced for the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds.

Arun District and Littlehampton Town Councils have been nominated for Best Arts Project for LOVE Local Arts – a local high Street family events programme in Littlehampton aimed to revitalise the town’s struggling high street through a quality, mixed programme of family-friendly arts events, centred on work by and for local young people.

This year’s winners will be selected from the shortlist by a judging panel of key arts industry experts and practitioners, including:

Andy Dawson, Inspire Youth Arts, winner of the 2021 HFTA award for Best Arts Champion – Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, author, speaker and supporter of music education

Shaparak Khorsandi, stand up comedian, writer, all round delight

Anna Lapwood, organist, conductor and broadcaster

Deborah Meaden, businesswoman and TV Dragon

Jack Thorne, screenwriter and playwright

Samuel West, actor and director, NCA Trustee

Despite the pandemic, creative people and projects have been supporting and producing local arts all around the nation this year – helping to ease the pressure on the NHS and other UK organisations responsible for care and rehabilitation, and proving the benefits of creativity to mental health, and general wellbeing. The Hearts for the Arts Awards are a way to celebrate these creative efforts and to encourage local authorities and cultural trusts to prioritise arts and culture in their areas.

Nominations were received from across the UK for each of this year’s three award categories: Best Arts Project; Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker; and Best Arts Champion – Councillor.

The shortlist was judged by representatives from the National Campaign for the Arts and from this year’s award partners: Community Leisure UK, Creative Lives, the Local Government Association, Thrive and UK Theatre.

Discussing the LOVE Local Arts programme, Hearts for the Arts Award partners said:

“Revitalising the high street, particularly in the context of COVID-19 is a significant challenge for towns across the country. The LOVE Local Arts project is a great example of how cultural activity can be used to bring footfall back to town centres and create a new sense of place.”

Councillor Jacky Pendleton, Chair of Housing and Wellbeing Services Committee at Arun District Council, said: 

“The LOVE Local Arts programme was a fantastic series of events that helped to draw people to the high street. I’m really pleased that we have been shortlisted for this award, and it’s a testament to how important the arts and cultural activities are to our community.”

In response to being shortlisted the Chair of the Town Council’s Policy & Finance Committee, Councillor Dr James Walsh KStJ, said:

“The Love Local Arts programme brought so much joy and vibrancy to Littlehampton residents and visitors and I’m delighted it is receiving high praise from experts in the arts industry. The Council is thrilled with the Best Arts Project nomination but off course winning the award would mean a lot for the Town. It would be the icing on the cake!”

The winners of the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2022 will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2022.

The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts for the Arts Awards each year. This year’s awards are delivered by the NCA, in partnership with Community Leisure UKCreative Lives, the Local Government AssociationThriveUK Theatre, and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

The Hearts for the Arts Awards were launched in 2016 to highlight the achievements of Local Authorities continuing their arts services against a backdrop of severe financial cuts. Previous judges have included Les Dennis, Susie Dent, Gary Kemp and Olivia Colman. Previous year’s winners included Wandsworth’s Create & Learn Playkits and Rochdale Borough’s Councillor Janet Emsley.

For more information on the shortlisted nominees visit