Lewisham and Croydon have been named London Borough of Culture for 2021 and 2023 respectively.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced both winners this morning at City Hall
Both boroughs will be awarded £1.35million of funding to deliver a year-long programme of activities which will place culture at the heart of their communities and celebrate the unique character of local people and places.
Lewisham‘s bid, Cultural Activism, sets out plans to inspire local people to take action on climate change.
The borough will celebrate its diversity and build inclusivity with hundreds of events throughout the year.
This includes an artist-led tribute to the Rock Against Racism movement, a large-scale dance performance and a climate change carnival.
Damien Egan, mayor of Lewisham, said: “I’m delighted we have been awarded Borough of Culture 2021.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Lewisham and I couldn’t be more proud to be Lewisham’s mayor and working alongside so many amazing creatives and artists.
“Our year will showcase what Lewisham has to offer the rest of London and the UK by harnessing the passion and creativity of our cultural sector and the people of Lewisham and channelling this into a programme which will face up to the most significant challenge facing our planet, the climate emergency.”
Croydon’s bid, This is Croydon, has sustainability at its heart.
Tens of thousands of Croydon residents will enjoy a series of inspirational events along the themes of progress, nature, inclusion and growth.
It includes art commissions with local communities, a music festival, a ‘reuse and recycle’ fashion show, and the creation of employment opportunities for young people.
Hammersmith and Fulham council will receive up to £200,000 to deliver individual cultural projects after being chosen for a Cultural Impact Award.
Hammersmith and Fulham will run a music training programme for excluded young people.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon council, said: “This is fantastic news – this award is for all of Croydon and everyone who has worked so hard in our bid.
“From Stormzy (pictured top) to our very own Shaniqua Benjamin, Croydon is the home of talent, with a rich music heritage as the birthplace of punk, grime and more, and we have an exciting future ahead.
“We are going to make 2023 a celebration of our town’s wonderful diversity and repay the Mayor’s belief in us. This is Croydon – and we are incredibly proud.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Culture has the power to bring communities together and transform young people’s lives, and I’m very proud of the impact that our programme has already had in Waltham Forest and Brent.
“Lewisham and Croydon have set out bold and exciting plans that will use culture to deliver real change in their boroughs, and I’m already looking forward to seeing their plans come to life.”
Stormzy picture by Boxpark Croydon.