Twenty two boroughs have bid to be London Borough of Culture in either 2019 or 2020, including Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Hounslow.
The Mayor of London’s new initiative will see the boroughs bid for more than£1million of funding to deliver a programme of ambitious cultural activities, put culture at the heart of the community and celebrate the unique character and diversity of London’s people and places.
In February 2018, two winning boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture, with one taking up the title in 2019 and the other in 2020.
Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes, the competition aims to fulfil a number of Sadiq’s key manifesto pledges and strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture.
The winning boroughs will be chosen based on their artistic vision and their ability to deliver an array of outstanding cultural initiatives in their local area, and for their authenticity – putting communities at the centre of the programme’s design, commissioning and delivery.
The Mayor says the top bids will be expected “to shine a spotlight on existing cultural treasures, bring new cultural activities to the area and encourage residents to get involved”.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London Borough of Culture will show the world we have cultural gems in all corners of the city – and ensure more Londoners from all backgrounds are able to enjoy our city’s amazing arts and culture.
“I want local boroughs to celebrate their heritage and creativity. London’s greatest strength is its diversity and it’s vital that the winning boroughs work with their communities to celebrate their unique identity.
“From the outset of my Mayoralty, I pledged to make growing London’s culture a core priority and I’m proud that this ground-breaking new initiative will soon be a reality. Good luck to all those bidding.”
As well as £1m from City Hall for each winning borough, the competition will also be supported by a grant of £300,000 from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder. In addition, a pot of £600,000 is available for to up to six boroughs which don’t win the title, but which put forward exemplary projects.
The full list of boroughs bidding is:
• Barking and Dagenham
• Hammersmith and Fulham
• Kingston upon Thames
• Tower Hamlets
• Waltham Forest