The Agency

We’re enabling young people, aged 15-25 years old, to create social change.

The Agency is a creative entrepreneurship programme. It enables young people aged 15 to 25 from marginalised areas in the UK to create social change projects. Each one stems from a young person’s passion and the positive change they want to make in their community.

The Agency is where young people turn their passion into reality.

Battersea Arts Centre

The origins of The Agency

The Agency UK is a Battersea Arts Centre and Contact programme devised in partnership with People’s Palace Projects in 2013. It has had a significant impact on the young people taking part. But it has also transformed the organisations and communities that have enabled them to realise their ideas.

The Agency uses an arts-based approach founded by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The model:

  • provides development opportunities for young people
  • gives them agency to affect real change in their own community
  • helps them to launch ambitious projects that will benefit their local area

The Agency made me realise my potential. Before I wanted to make a change, but I didn't know how to go about doing that.

Phillipa, London Agent

The Agency Southampton

Following in the footsteps of other cities across the UK, it is now Southampton’s turn. We are uniting arts, non-arts and community organisations. Our vision is to make a real difference to the lives of young people in the city. This exciting project will engage and empower young people to create social enterprises.

The Agency gave me belief in myself.

Seshie, London Agent

Our partners

We’re working with a wide range of cultural and community organisations. These include the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership and key community and youth organisations.

We are part of a national team led by Contact and Battersea Arts Centre. They oversee delivery of The Agency across a growing number of places in the UK.

The Agency has taken us into areas such as sport, fashion, broadcasting, cookery, and activism, and has changed the lives of many of its participants.

Matt Fenton, Artistic Director, Contact

Watch this space!

COVID-19 has scuppered our plans to launch The Agency Southampton in September 2020. We are now aiming for early 2021.

We are recruiting a Project Manager, Lead Facilitator and Assistant Facilitator. However, this has also been paused by the pandemic so watch this space!

Get in touch with Penny to find out more.

The Agency in action

Universal Language helps young people practice their English while doing something they love.

Ur Way raises awareness about mental health and helps young people suffering from mental illness.

Get in touch


Partners and funders

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
  • Fablab, Belfast.

The Agency is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and the Mayor of London. London Borough of Culture is 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 AgĂȘncia de Redes para a Juventude.

The UK pilot (2013-15) was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The Agency partner and funder logos

Our Partners

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