What is the London Borough of Culture?

The London Borough of Culture is a new competition for the 32 London boroughs to apply for funding to lead a game-changing cultural programme. In February 2018 two winning boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture, one for 2019 and one for 2020. Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes, London Borough of Culture will put culture at the heart of the community, celebrating the unique and distinctive creativity, character and diversity of London’s people and places. To find out more go to www.london.gov.uk/boroughofculture


Who will decide who wins, and when will we know?

The final decision will the Mayor of London’s but all bids will be evaluated by a panel of experts using a clear system laid out by the Mayor’s office. They will evaluate the bids in terms of the outcomes we hope to achieve, and our ability to deliver the programme. Bids have to be in by 1 December and a decision is expected in February 2018.


What does the winning borough get?

The two winning boroughs will receive up to £1.1 million from the Mayor of London and we are expected to match that with at least £300,000 of their own money. A number of other funding bodies have publicly committed to supporting the winning boroughs but have not indicated exactly how much they will provide. These include the Heritage Lottery Fund, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the City of London Corporation. It is expected that if Croydon secures the title the total investment will be £2 million or more.


Who is running Croydon’s bid?

Only London boroughs can apply, so the council is the official bidder. A steering group has been set up with representation from arts organisations, businesses, and the council. We also have a number of ambassadors who are supporting the bid and will be involved in helping us ensure we involve as many local people and as many different communities as possible.


Where will the money go?

Some of the funds will be spent on the projects included in our bid. Details will be announced during the bid process via our Bid Blog. There will also be a number of schemes that local arts organisations, community groups and artists will be able to apply to in 2018, if we are successful. These will include a small grants scheme for local projects plus funding earmarked for local neighbourhoods.


Can anyone take part?

We want everyone to be involved, whether it is through organising your own project in your community, attending events or volunteering. We are also keen to ensure that all communities in the borough have the opportunity to take part. Sign up here to make sure you get the latest information about funding for individual projects.


What happens if we don’t win the title?

Things are changing in Croydon and with the return of Fairfield and new venues and events like Boxpark and the International Mela we believe that whatever happens with the actual bid, we will still be able to put on a fantastic programme in 2019. There are also some smaller awards with up to six other boroughs receiving support to deliver bespoke cultural projects.