Changing Croydon through Culture
As one of London’s most culturally diverse boroughs, Croydon is a strong contender to be the first London Borough of Culture.
To get there, we will do do five important things for Croydon:
Improve young people’s lives
Croydon has the largest and fastest-growing youth population of any London borough – 63,000 people between the ages of 10 and 23 live here.
Through our growing culture programme we will increase opportunities for young people and provide more routes into employment in the creative and cultural sectors. These include music, dance, street art, photography, videography, coding, marketing and event production, to name just a few.
We will be involving young people in programming and creating some of our flagship projects, providing apprenticeships, internships and other training opportunities and creating new events to motivate and engage others.
Build healthier and stronger communities
We will create a programme that involves all our communities and neighbourhoods.
Croydon has a wealth of local heritage, a museum and a strong architectural identity, but it is so much more than the main town centre.
Our bid will showcase the wider cultural offer available in our district centres: Addiscombe, Coulsdon, Crystal Palace, New Addington, Norbury, Purley, Selsdon, South Norwood and Thornton Heath.
We will support community projects and local events, invest in local cultural hubs, and develop projects that help connect people and communities.
Change the way you see Croydon
People should be proud to live and work in Croydon.
Winning the award to be the first London Borough of Culture gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve how Croydon is perceived by London and the world.
To do this we will be featuring local people and their stories in our campaign promoting the bid.
We will also be addressing issues around our night-time economy to make sure that people feel safe when attending evening events; and we will be inviting London and the world to come and see Croydon – not just in 2019 – but for good.
Put culture and people at the heart of regeneration
The size and scale of Croydon’s physical regeneration is phenomenal.
The £500 million central Growth Zone is equal in size to the Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms transformations combined, and it’s three times the size of the Olympic Park. There are also public realm improvement schemes in many of the borough’s neighbourhoods.
Initially, the focus was on creating the new homes, offices and public spaces. Now it’s time to see how we create interest through the cultural events and the art that go in those spaces. We are creating more cultural opportunities in everyday spaces, and developing our events programme for parks and public spaces across the borough.
Build a strong, vibrant cultural sector
Croydon has a growing creative sector which is particularly strong in music and street art.
The Borough of Culture award includes just over £1m in funding from the Mayor of London and Croydon’s bid aims to match that to provide a total of £2m investment in arts and culture.
We are equally committed to making sure that it makes a real difference to the long-term development of artists living and working in Croydon.
We will be make more spaces available for artists to create, showcase, and sell their work, as well as attracting leading international artists to develop a year-round programme of workshops and events.
Culture can help create real change, it happens when people come together, share their ideas and their thoughts about the future. It starts with each and every one of us.