The Agency is a creative and entrepreneurial project for young people delivered by Contact Theatre, (Manchester), and Battersea Arts Centre (London). Created as a three-party collaboration between these two organisations and People’s Palace Projects, it is modelled on Agência de Redes para a Juventude (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and its creative and entrepreneurial methodology developed by Marcus Faustini.

Emerging from an international network developed through PPP’s Points of Contact programme, The Agency had its implementation and first two years funded through the Participatory Performance Arts Award 2012 (Gulbenkian Foundation). From 2015, it has been funded by The Big Lottery, continuing to provide opportunities for young people living in underserved areas of Battersea/Clapham Junction, in London, and Moston or Harpurhey in North Manchester.

From 2017, the programme is entering a new two year cycle of work at Battersea Arts Centre and Contact, and an exciting expansion with two new partners: National Theatre Wales and Fablab Belfast.

The Agency

A Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Programme

In partnership with People’s Palace Projects, National Theatre Wales & Fablab Belfast

Funded by Big Lottery Fund

The Agency was initially conceived by Marcus Faustini in Rio de Janeiro and the UK pilot was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The Agency’s methodology reverses the hierarchies of traditional creative and social projects by working from the young people’s vision and ideas. As creatives developing a project on their own right, The Agency supports them by funding their participation and project costs, developing skills and networks and creating an environment where young people can lead the delivery of their projects, businesses and events.

Since 2013, participants have developed socially engaged projects in fashion, gaming, music, sports, health, gastronomy and many other areas while being supported by a vast network of key local and industry professionals, artists, politicians, researchers and civil servants.

On the video below Marcus Faustini describes his journey as founder of Agência de Redes para a Juventude, giving insight into what inspired him to create the methodology at the heart of The Agency.

Follow The Agency on Facebook

For more information about how to participate, please send your enquiry to Battersea Arts Centre or Contact Theatre. If you would like to support The Agency, including by being part of its network of advocates, please contact André Piza via

Click here to download the evaluation report (2013-2015).


The UK pilot of The Agency was funded by