Mayor launches first London Borough of Culture award

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched the search for the first-ever London Borough of Culture, inviting 32 boroughs to bid for cultural funding.

The new London Borough of Culture Award will see the capital’s 32 boroughs bid for more than £1million of funding to stage a programme of world-class cultural events and initiatives, and to develop a plan to make culture an integral part of the boroughs’ future. A further £600,000 is available for to up to six boroughs which don’t win the title, but which put forward exemplary projects.

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. The winning boroughs will be chosen based on their artistic vision and ambition to deliver outstanding cultural initiatives in their local area, putting communities at the centre of the programme’s design and delivery.

With only a third of Londoners feel that they make the most of the culture on their doorstep, the project forms one of Sadiq’s key manifesto pledges and aims to strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture.

Khan said: “Culture is the DNA of our city. It has the power to transform communities and to bring people closer together. Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to reach out to our neighbours and celebrate London’s unique and diverse culture. London Borough of Culture is a great way to do just that whilst showing the world that our cultural gems extend way beyond the centre of the capital to all corners of the city.

"From the outset of my Mayoralty, I pledged to make growing London’s culture a core priority and I’m proud to launch this ground-breaking new initiative, which I know will bring culture to life across the city. I can’t wait to see what inspiring ideas our boroughs have in store.”

Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, added: “We are so lucky to have such inspiring culture on offer every day in London. There is always something to discover, every London borough is full of talent, culture and creativity. London Borough of Culture is a chance to be ambitious, to celebrate what we love about our boroughs and to dream big!”

As part of the competition, the City Bridge Trust will also apply a grant of £300,000, while the winning boroughs will gain support from leading institutions such as the Barbican, the Museum of London, the Roundhouse, Film London and the National Trust.

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