The Agency

Make your idea a reality

As part of Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture, a Mayor of London initiative, The Agency at Kiln Theatre supports young entrepreneurs between 15-25 years old develop ideas for social change in their area. We give them the professional training, support and advice they need to make their project and benefit their local community. This could be anything from boxing workshops to a music festival. They will pitch their idea to an expert panel to win £2000 of funding to make their idea happen.

The Agency runs nationwide and takes place in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast.

We will continue to support our Agents, 23 young people from across Brent taking part in The Agency, a London Borough of Culture project hosted at Kiln Theatre during 2020. The initiative supports young people to develop their own projects that will create meaningful change in their communities. Although we have had to postpone the Agents’ project presentations to a panel until autumn 2020, our Agency Project Coordinator Gemma will sustain a regular level of contact with them over the next few months, ensuring they have structured opportunities to connect with each other. In collaboration with Brent Borough of Culture 2020, we will put together a commissioned opportunity for the Agents to respond creatively to the Coronavirus situation.


Having lived in the London borough of Brent for some time now, feelings of isolation were a frequent feature in my daily life. Most days would be filled with trying to make connections, finding local groups to socialise with – above all else, establish roots where I had chosen to live.

In the age of social media, you’d think it was easy to find like-minded people who shared similar interests, but that didn’t prove to be the case. In fact, I found quite regularly that people were more concerned about curating their online lives and identities as opposed to establishing real, genuine connections with real, genuine people.

Suffering from a chronic condition didn’t help, either: whenever I had the opportunity to make friends, issues of anxiety and the long term consequences of isolation would take their toll. At points, I felt as if I had nowhere to go.

But then, I discovered The Agency – a group of inclusive people who created a hub enabling social interaction and connection. Tied together by an inspiring mission statement, the object of attending The Agency and various Kiln-related activities may well have been project-focused, but I have gained so much more from this experience; friends, support networks and chiefly, love.

Even during this pandemic, I’ve received nothing but a welcoming response in the wake of what are extremely challenging times – all Gemma, Lydia, Marco and Will have remained positive, encouraging and warm for what are, I’m sure, hard times for them too. And with such an affable, energised group of people, including the amazing cohort at The Kiln, I have no doubt great things are still to come!

Agent – Posted 14 May 2020

The Agency at Kiln Theatre is part of Brent’s London Borough of Culture in 2020

Brent is London’s Borough of Culture in 2020. Our programme explores the stories, art and emotions that hold life in Brent together, uncovering and celebrating the borough’s untold tales and unheard voices. We are the home of Zadie Smith, reggae, English football and its captains. We have London’s oldest road, the biggest Hindu Temple in Europe, the Kiln Theatre and Mahogany Carnival Design. We are where city becomes Metroland; where roads, waterways and railways cross; where outsiders fight for their place. We are Jayaben Desai, George Michael, Cyrille Regis, Keith Moon, Rachel Yankey, Janet Kay, Twiggy, Bob Marley, Michael Meaney and Trojan Records. It is from this alchemy that our year of culture comes. Brent is more than a borough of culture: This is the Borough of Cultures.

We live in a country that isn’t sure where it’s going. But Brent has never been a place that follows trends: it sets them. As Europe’s eyes turn to Wembley next year for the finals of the UEFA European Football Championships we will show them a place that is new, genuine and hopeful.

The Agency at Kiln Theatre is part of Brent’s London Borough of Culture in 2020. The Agency UK is a Battersea Arts Centre and Contact programme devised in partnership with People’s Palace Projects. Current partners include: Kiln Theatre, Blackhorse Workshop, National Theatre Wales and Fablab Belfast. Funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and London Borough of Culture – a Mayor of London initiative, supported by the City of London Corporation’s charity and City Bridge Trust. The Agency is a programme originally conceived by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro where it is delivered by Agência de Redes para a Juventude. The UK pilot (2013 – 15) was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.