Apply to be the next London Borough of Culture winner

London is the cultural capital of the world - with world-class institutions and globally renowned talent, it remains the envy of all who visit. The Mayor's vision is for culture to be accessible by every Londoner regardless of age, faith, ethnicity, gender, background or postcode.

Culture has the power to bring people together. It breaks down barriers, strengthens our sense of a shared identity, and opens our minds to new ideas and ways of thinking. London Borough of Culture is about creating an ambitious vision for London's boroughs with culture firmly at its core.

What awards are there?

There are two types of awards for the London Borough of Culture: Title Awards and Cultural Impact Awards.

Title Awards

Winners of Title Awards will hold the title of London Borough of Culture for a year and will run an ambitious cultural programme within that year. The title will be awarded for 2021 and 2023.

The announcement of the winners will be made in January 2020. Each winning borough will receive a revenue grant up to the value of £1.35million.

Cultural Impact Awards

There will also be up to three awards for strategic individual projects in other boroughs. These will be in the region of £200,000 for projects that take place between 2021 and 2023.

Read about the 2019 and 2020 Title Award and Cultural Impact Award winners.

Nest - Waltham Forest

How do I apply?


You can apply online via the GLA's Open Project System, which is now live. The application deadline is midday on 28 October 2019.


Please read through these documents before applying:


How do I access additional support?

Information follows below on the 1-to-1 advice surgery dates, borough engagement event dates, and small development grants.

1-to-1 advice surgery dates

The team have been holding 1-to-1 surgeries across London over the summer to support boroughs in developing their applications. 

Details of further opportunities will be added soon, but if you wish to speak to the team, please get in touch via: [email protected] 

If there are any specific areas you wish to discuss then include this with your email request. 

Borough engagement event dates

As more events are planned, they will be added on this page.  

Here is what has happened so far, please get in touch with [email protected] if you would like copies of any presentations or notes from these events. 

11 June 2019 - Evaluation workshop for bidding boroughs

The Audience Agency ran a session on how to approach evaluation, with a specific focus on the London Borough of Culture programme evaluation framework. 

20 June, 2019 - Marketing and Communications workshop

We ran a marketing and communications workshop in collaboration with Waltham Forest, which set out support the GLA family can offer future London Boroughs of Culture. 

7 August, 2019 - Cultural Partners networking event

This was an event for senior programmers/producers from cultural organisations and borough arts officers, to have conversations that might inform the Borough of Culture bids or lead to other interesting partnerships. 

Small development grants

Small grants are available to support your borough in developing its London Borough of Culture application. The grant can be used to access specialist expertise, which you may find useful for:

  • facilitating discussions across council departments
  • facilitating discussions, collaborations, partnership opportunities with cultural partners or other external agencies
  • exploring creative ideas around the artistic programme, planning a year of culture and what this might look like
  • practical tips around bid development, how to build a partnership, engage with community etc.
  • advice on how to deliver a year of culture, if a bid is successful, eg next steps

These are just a few examples of ways in which you could spend the grant. You can use the grant flexibly to deliver the support you require to develop your application. However, it cannot be used to fund existing council staff.

Small grants will be offered within the region of £3,000 and £8,000, depending on the number of boroughs who decide to bid for London Borough of Culture.

London Councils will be managing the small grants on behalf of the GLA. For an Expression of Interest form - please contact [email protected].

Key dates

Expression of interest - 12 July 2019

Confirmation of funding amount - 9 August 2019

Submission of monitoring form - 30 November 2019

Additional resources to support your application

The documents below are provided as an additional resource for you to read and consider when making your application: 

You may also find the following document, The Story So Far, from Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture 2019, a useful read: 


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