London Borough of Culture award launch

Nicola Sullivan, 04.07.2017
32 boroughs will compete for £1.1m award
The search is on for the first London Borough of Culture – an award that will see the capital’s 32 boroughs bid for more than £1m of funding to stage a programme of cultural events and initiatives.

The two winning boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture, one taking up the title in 2019 and the other in 2020. 

The winning boroughs will each receive £1.1m. A further six awards of between £50,000 and £200,000 will be made available to boroughs for exemplary individual projects that take place between 2018 and 2020. All awards are revenue funding, and applicants will have to provide a minimum of 30% match funding.

The competition is designed to support the mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s manifesto pledge to strengthen the city’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture by highlighting “hidden cultural gems”.
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. 
The bids will be supported by a number of institutions including the Barbican, the Museum of London, the Roundhouse, Film London and the National Trust. The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will also work with the winning boroughs to help them secure further funding for bespoke projects.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, 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 while showing the world that our cultural gems extend way beyond the centre of the capital to all corners of the city."

The closing date for boroughs to submit their bids is 1 December. The winners will be announced in February 2018.


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Jonathan Gammond
Access , Wrexham County Borough Museum
09.07.2017, 12:46
It is a good start, but perhaps if London Boroughs were allowed to raise more from property taxes and business rates, every borough could be a 'borough of culture' and there would be more diversity, originality and excellence rather than everyone trying to guess what will please the purse string holders inside the 'testicle'. It is not as if there is a shortage of creativity in London.