Thursday 23 January 2020

Sadiq Khan launches London’s Borough of Culture

Local authorities will have five months to prepare their applications.

Sadiq Khan (PA)
Sadiq Khan (PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

The first hunt for London’s Borough of Culture has been launched, with one area of the capital in line to receive more than £1 million in funding.

Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes, the capital’s 32 boroughs will bid for the financial boost, with one taking the title in 2019 and another in 2020.

Announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall on Friday as an initiative to “bring culture to all Londoners”, local authorities will have five months to prepare applications before a decision is made on where to allocate the £2.8 million pot of funding for the two winning bids.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (PA archive)

The mayor joked he had decided to introduce the initiative after fearing Britain’s vote to leave the European Union would endanger inclusion in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Referencing the Grenfell Tower tragedy and recent terror attacks in London, he said culture would play an important role in healing division.

He told the Press Association: “The great thing about culture is not only the economic boom it brings to London… but it enriches our lives, it nourishes the soul, it brings communities together, it heals division.

“Good culture is for the rich and poor, old and young, no matter your ethnicity or faith.”

The Roundhouse (Ian West/PA Archive)

The funding will commit boroughs to introducing artistic initiatives and make culture an integral part of their future.

They will be tasked with bringing new opportunities to their area as well as shining a spotlight on existing treasures.

An extra £600,000 will be made available for other boroughs who put forward impressive projects.

Successful applicants will have the chance to work with some of London’s leading cultural centres, including the Roundhouse and the Barbican.

Applications close on December 1 with winners announced in February.

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