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£1m funding available through new London Borough of Culture competition

£1m funding available through new London Borough of Culture competition

The Mayor of , Sadiq Khan has launched the Borough of Culture , which will see the city’s 32 boroughs bid for just over £1m in towards a programme of cultural events and initiatives.

The London Borough of Culture competition is supported by City Bridge Trust and will see two London boroughs selected to hold the year-long title of London Borough of Culture for 2019 and 2020. In addition they will each receive £1.1m towards their programme of world-class cultural events and initiatives and to develop a plan to make culture an integral part of the borough’s future.

The Trust is providing £300,000 of funding, of which £100,000 each will be provided to the two winning boroughs, with the remaining £100,000 added to a pot of £500,000 for work in six additional boroughs to undertake cultural projects.

In addition, its Trustee, the City of London Corporation, will provide in-kind support to the winning boroughs by offering its cultural assets, expertise and services.

Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes, the competition aims to strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture, by highlighting the hidden cultural gems across the capital.

According to the Trust, the winning boroughs, to be announced in February 2018, will be chosen ‘based on their artistic vision and ambition to deliver outstanding cultural initiatives in their local area, putting communities at the centre of the programme design and delivery’. The top bids will not only be expected to highlight and promote existing cultural treasures, but to bring new cultural opportunities to the area, encouraging their own residents to get involved as well as Londoners from across the capital, and visitors from further afield, such as with festivals, exhibitions, pop ups, and other arts activities.

A number of London’s cultural institutions will help the winning boroughs realise their vision, including the Barbican, Museum of London, Roundhouse, Film London, and the National Trust and others. The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will also work with the winning boroughs to help them secure further funding for bespoke cultural projects.

Another major element of the competition will focus on how the award can bring real lasting change to the winning borough. Boroughs will be encouraged to consider how arts and culture can help them deliver their local plans, for example through training and skills development as well as regeneration projects.

The competition launched on 30th June, and the deadline for entries is 1st December. More information including how to apply is available online.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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