Newham launches bid to become London’s Borough of Culture

PUBLISHED: 16:07 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:26 11 September 2017

East Ham Town Hall

East Ham Town Hall


Newham has launched a bid to become London’s Borough of Culture, with the ambition that if the bid succeeds everyone will live within walking distance of a facility for “enjoying or sharing” some form of cultural activity.

The Borough of Culture is a new initiative launched by the mayor of London which will select two boroughs, one for 2019 and one for 2020, that will receive money for delivering “bespoke cultural projects.”

The council’s vision, ‘Everyone, All Together,’ will be a grassroots campaign “shaped by our communities and will reflect the character and vibrancy of the borough.”

Speaking at a Newham Council cabinet meeting last night, mayor Sir Robin Wales said he is hopeful about the bid being successful.

He said: “We have a different offer to other people. We are not telling the stories of other boroughs.”

Places like Islington may have great venues, he added, but Newham’s young and engaged population are a unique asset.

The successful borough will receive £1.1 million funding from the Greater London Assembly. It is also likely the winning borough will receive further grants and sponsorship.

For deputy mayor Ken Clark, this is only part of the scheme’s appeal.

He said: “It’s not really about the money, it’s about the prestige it would bring to the borough.”

Under the rules of the initiative Newham Council would also have to put in an additional £330,000 themselves if the bid succeeds.

The council also plans to spend up to £50,000 on its bid, hiring external staff to help pull together proposals because the council doesn’t believe it has the required level of specialist experience.

In a report into the bid, the council notes it has a “proud record” of putting on “meaningful cultural activities” at venues like City Airport, the London Stadium and ExCel.

The report also states: “London is the creative capital of the world but the GLA estimate only about one third of Londoners feel they make the most of the culture on their doorsteps.

“The borough of culture fund is an excellent opportunity to expand and grow Newham’s cultural offer.”

So far Merton, Waltham Forest, Camden, Lambeth, Bexley and Croydon have declared they are submitting bids.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 17:37

Police investigating the murder of a teenager in Canning Town on Valentine’s Day have made a third arrest.

Yesterday, 17:33

The banners of Sir Robin Wales which sprung up suddenly last week have now been taken down.

Newham Council
Yesterday, 16:49

A talented teenage musician will be following in the footsteps of Elton John, Annie Lennox and Katherine Jenkins after winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.

United Kingdom
Yesterday, 15:24

All five protesters tried last week for blocking a road leading to a major international arms fair at the ExCeL have been cleared.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now