London’s First Borough of Culture Announced


In an event at City Hall earlier today, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the London Borough of Waltham Forest as the first London Borough of Culture for 2019. This followed an intense competition which saw 22 boroughs submitting bids. Attending the launch event on behalf of the Trust were our Chairman, Alison Gowman and Deputy Chairman, Dhruv Patel (pictured with the Mayor above).

Also revealed was the award for the second London Borough of Culture for 2020, which it was awarded to the London Borough of Brent. The two winning bids will each receive funding of £1.35m towards their year of activities.

In addition, six one-off Cultural Impact Award projects were named, as follows:

  • LB Barking and Dagenham – New Town Culture
  • LB Camden – Camden Alive
  • RB Kingston – Live Music
  • LB Lambeth – Next Generation
  • LB Lewisham – Festival of Creative Ageing
  • LB Merton – Film Merton

Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes, the London Borough of Culture will strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture, by highlighting the hidden cultural gems across the capital. The winning boroughs were 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 design and delivery.

The Trust is providing £300,000 of funding, of which £100,000 each will be provided to the two winning boroughs, with the remaining £100,000 for work in six additional boroughs to undertake cultural projects. In addition, our Trustee the City of London Corporation will be offering to work with the winning boroughs to provide providing in-kind support to the winning boroughs by offering its cultural assets, expertise and services.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London, said: “Warmest congratulations to Waltham Forest and Brent. We are looking forward to seeing how they use their funding awards to empower their residents to connect with the arts.

“As one of the UK’s major supporters of the arts, my colleagues and I at the City Corporation know that culture enriches people’s lives and is an important contributor to the economy.

“Now that they have been named as London Borough of Culture for 2019 and 2020, these boroughs will relish the opportunity to put their plans into action to help transform their communities over the coming years.”


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