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Seven boroughs (including Haringey) compete to be next London Borough of Culture

Seven boroughs compete to be next London Borough of Culture

19 December 2019
  • Seven boroughs from across the capital have been invited to City Hall to present their bid to be the next London Borough of Culture.


Seven boroughs from across the capital have been invited to City Hall to present their bid to be the next London Borough of Culture.


Croydon, Greenwich, Hounslow, Lewisham, Haringey, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Sutton will compete to become the London Borough of Culture for 2021 and 2023.


The two winning boroughs will each be awarded £1.35 million to deliver an ambitious programme, placing culture at the heart of their communities and celebrating the unique character of local people and places.


Boroughs can also win Cultural Impact Awards, each receiving up to £200,000 to deliver cultural projects. The successful bids will be announced in February.


The London Borough of Culture is a major initiative launched by the Mayor Of London, Sadiq Khan, inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes. The competition has fulfilled one of the Mayor’s key manifesto pledges by strengthening London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture.


 The inaugural winner in 2019 was Waltham Forest, whose programme included more than 1,000 cultural events, workshops and activities across the year, and involved all 88 schools in the borough. Some of the highlights included 70,000 visitors attending the opening weekend Welcome to the Forest, 1,500 children making tin toys in Leyton as part of Atomic 50, 100 international musicians coming together to perform to 3,000 people for Africa Express, and a spectacular closing show last weekend with Forest Uprising.


Brent will be the London Borough of Culture for 2020, and last month announced a bold programme, curated by young people and including events at Wembley Park, new work by Zadie Smith and the return of the MOBO Awards to the borough.


The success of the London Borough of Culture programme has captured global inspiration, with Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, now running their own ‘Barrios Creativos' programme, inspired by London.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “We created the London Borough of Culture to give Londoners a chance to create and enjoy world-class culture on their doorstep. Waltham Forest’s programme has shown its power to bring together communities and inspire young people, and Brent’s exciting programme for 2020 is set to continue this success. We look forward to hearing more about boroughs’ bold plans for 2021 and 2023.”


Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, said: “In every corner of the capital there is creativity and culture, there are hidden gems and unexpected stories. The London Borough of Culture shines a light on the unique character of our boroughs, it inspires powerful civic pride and celebrates world class culture. The first winner, Waltham Forest, has set the bar really high with a fantastic programme, every single school in the borough involved and 1,000 local people inspired to volunteer. I can’t wait to see who’s next”


Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council said: “Our London Borough of Culture year has exceeded all of my expectations; the creative community of Waltham Forest showcased its incredible talent to London and the rest of the world and I couldn't be prouder of the results.


“Throughout the year I have seen first-hand the transformative power of the arts and the role it can play in bringing together communities against a backdrop of division and uncertainty. In 2019, culture has been at the heart of Waltham Forest Council’s work to change residents’ lives for the better and the impact of that investment has been phenomenal.


“From our wonderful volunteers to the thousands of young creatives in our local schools, I know the future success of Waltham Forest has been shaped by the experiences and skills gained during our year.”

Notes to editors

Each borough will present their bid to an expert panel, who will then make recommendations to The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries Justine Simons OBE.


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