London Borough of Culture – just 24 hours left to bid

30 November 2017

Boroughs across the capital have just 24 hours left to bid for the Mayor of London’s ground-breaking new initiative, the London Borough of Culture competition.

This award 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 places1

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 fulfils a number of Sadiq’s key manifesto pledges and will strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture – ensuring Londoners from all different backgrounds and corners of the capital are able to enjoy the city’s arts and cultural offerings.

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 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. Successful boroughs will set out cultural programmes that attract Londoners from across the capital and visitors from further afield - this might include new festivals, exhibitions and pop-ups.

Two weeks ago, the Mayor visited Hull, the current UK City of Culture, to see how culture has transformed the city, opening up access to the arts, kick-starting regeneration schemes, bringing communities closer together and instilling a real sense of civic pride. He was greeted by Hull’s volunteer force, met artists, local businesses and city leaders and visited a number of projects including the Turner Prize exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “With just 24 hours to go for boroughs to get their bids in, I can’t wait to see what inspiring ideas they have in store.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, I visited Hull and saw the amazing power of culture in action. I spoke with volunteers in the city and visited some of the brilliant projects that have transformed the landscape and reputation of Hull as a world-class centre for arts and culture.

“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 projects2

The deadline for boroughs to bid to become London Borough of Culture is midday on Friday 1 December.


Notes to editors



1The London Borough of Culture Award will see the capital’s boroughs compete for up to £2.8 million in funding spread over two years, 2019 and 2020. £2.5 million has been pledged by City Hall, with additional support from the City Bridge Trust of £300,000. In February 2018, two winning boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture, one taking up the title in 2019 and the other in 2020. Each will receive a guaranteed fund of £1.1 million. In addition, a further £600,000 will be made available to six additional Boroughs for exemplary individual projects.

2A pot of £600,000 is available for up to six exemplary projects. This comprises £500,000 from City Hall and £100,000 from the City Bridge Trust

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Information for the media is available from Chris Calvert at [email protected], or call 020 7983 4755.

GENERAL PUBLIC/NON-MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Call the Public Liaison Unit at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100

DUTY PRESS OFFICER: For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call 020 7983 4000

Share this page