Reading Cultural Awards 2017

Nominations for this year’s Reading Cultural Awards include many events reviewed by the Whitley Pump, as well as several venues in Katesgrove, Redlands or Whitley. Winners will be announced on 29 June at a ceremony at the Olympia Ballroom on London Street, Katesgrove.

Nominations show how much art and culture is going on in our local area, and how contributors to the Whitley Pump have been enjoying themselves over the last year!

Image courtesy of (c) Reading Between The Lines

Henry I, from Reading Between the Lines, has been nominated for the Made in Reading award; this is a category for a performance, visual arts piece or project created within Reading. The play has also been nominated for Performance of the Year, the Reading Place of Culture Ambassador Award and the Celebrating Reading’s Heritage Award. Other plays produced by the company also feature and it received a nomination in the Cultural Organisation of the Year category.

(c) Reading Rep

Reading Rep’s Ben Hur at the Hexagon has been nominated for Made in Reading and the Rep is also on the list for Cultural Organisation of the Year.

Gift. Image courtesy of (c) Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures appears in the Cultural Organisation of the Year nominations One of their 2016 productions was Gift.

His Dark Materials. Image courtesy of (c) Aidan Moran, Progress Theatre

His Dark Materials from the Progress Theatre has one of thirteen nominations for Performance of the Year. This two-part adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy was a captivating and challenging production with a cast of 130 characters shared among 28 actors.

Katesgrove venues the Rising Sun Arts Centre and South Street Arts Centre have nominations for Cultural Space of the Year. Memorable events at the Rising Sun include Martin Alvarado and The Rumpo Kidz. 2016 was the 25th anniversary of the Rising Sun and South Street re-opened following an £800 thousand refurbishment funded by the Arts Council and Reading Borough Council.

Ashmead school blazer at the Whitley Community Museum

Whitley Community Museum has been nominated for the Celebrating Reading’s Heritage Award. The local museum is up against bigger organisations such as Reading Museum and the National Trust in this category.

The Bridge and the Baby (Ray Atkins). Image courtesy of (c) Reading Borough Council (Reading Museum)

The On Track exhibition at Reading Museum appears in the Celebrating Reading’s Heritage category and Reading Arts and Business in Partnership. Reading Museum’s Ray Atkins: the Reading Years exhibition was nominated for the Visual Arts Event of the year.

Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) appears in the Cultural Organisation of the Year category. The MERL re-opened in October 2016 following a major refurbishment.

  • Image courtesy of (c) Ma Bessie and her Pig Foot Band

Reading Fringe Festival has been nominated for Cultural Organisation of the Year and for Festival of the Year. The Whitley Pump reviewed Ma Bessie & her Pig Foot band at the Olympia Ballroom, one of the acts which was part of the Reading Fringe Festival.

The Great Art Quest has been nominated for Best Education Project. The Palmer Academy on Northumberland Avenue was one of the schools that participated in the project.

And finally, the indefatigable Beatroots, who drummed away under the IDR during Reading’s half marathon in April, have been included on the list for Reading Place of Culture Ambassador Award.

Reading Cultural Awards 2017 are sponsored by Reading UK CIC, the Olympia Ballroom and the Reading Chronicle. Tickets for the awards ceremony on 29 June can be booked through


  1. Reading Cultural Awards 2017
  2. The Olympia Ballroom at Shehnai
  3. Henry I of England at St James Church
  4. Reading Between the Lines
  5. A profoundly moving production of Ben Hur
  6. Reading Rep
  7. His Dark Materials (part one) at the Progress Theatre
  8. His Dark Materials (part two) at the Progress Theatre
  9. Progress Theatre
  10. Martin Alvarado at the Rising Sun
  11. A right carry on in Katesgrove with the Rumpo Kidz
  12. The Rising Sun celebrates its 25th birthday!
  13. The future of South Street Arts Centre
  14. Whitley Community Museum Goes Interactive
  15. Ma Bessie & Her Pig Foot band at the Reading Fringe
  16. Then and now. The Central Goods Yard
  17. The paint never dries on Reading
  18. Palmer Academy takes part in the Great Art Quest
  19. The Palmer Academy
  20. Museum of English Rural Life re-opens
  21. Beatroots
  22. The Reading Half Marathon in Katesgrove
  23. Reading UK CIC
  24. Reading Chronicle