Lewisham and Croydon have something new in common after being named London's next Boroughs of Culture.
Lewisham was awarded the title for 2021 with Croydon winning for 2023.
Both boroughs will get more than a million pounds of funding for a year-long programme of activities.
The award was launched in 2017 inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes. It aims to use culture to empower communities and transform young people’s lives.
Lewisham's bid, 'Cultural Activism', set 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 including a climate change carnival.
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, 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. Thousands of residents will see a series of events along the themes of progress, nature, inclusion and growth.
This is fantastic news – this award is for all of Croydon and everyone who has worked so hard in our bid. From Stormzy to our very own Shaniqua, Croydon is the home of talent, with a rich musical heritage as the birthplace of punk, grime and more, with an exciting future ahead. We are going to make 2023 a celebration of our town’s wonderful diversity, make everyone proud and repay the Mayor’s belief in us. This is Croydon – and we are incredibly proud.
Waltham Forest was London's first Borough of Culture and Brent is the London Borough of Culture for 2020.
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.