Mayor Sadiq Khan launches London Borough of Culture award

Sadiq Khan Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sadiq Khan said culture "has the power to transform communities"

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched the search for the first London Borough of Culture.

The competition will see the capital's 32 boroughs bid for more than £1m of funding to stage a programme of cultural events and initiatives.

It will be supported by a grant of £300,000 from City Bridge Trust, part of the City of London Corporation.

The London Borough of Culture award is part of the mayor's plans to support the arts in London.

Two boroughs will be crowned winners in February, taking the title of London Borough of Culture for 2019 and 2020 respectively.

City Hall said the winning boroughs would 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's design and delivery".

Several cultural institutions will provide help to the boroughs, including the Barbican, the Museum of London, the Roundhouse, Film London and the National Trust.

Image copyright City Hall
Image caption The capital's 32 boroughs have until December to submit their bids

The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will also work with the winning boroughs to help them secure extra funding for bespoke cultural projects.

A further £600,000 will be made available for up to six boroughs which don't win the title, but "put forward exemplary projects".

Mr Khan said: "Culture is the DNA of our city. It has the power to transform communities and to bring people closer together.

"Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to reach out to our neighbours and celebrate London's unique and diverse culture.

"London Borough of Culture is a great way to do just that whilst showing the world that our cultural gems extend way beyond the centre of the capital to all corners of the city."

The closing date for boroughs to submit their bids is 1 December.

More on this story