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Sadiq Khan launches London Borough of Culture initiative with £1 million prize

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Bob and Roberta Smith: Art is Everywhere

Sadiq Khan has launched the London Borough of Culture, a new initiative that will see the 32 boroughs of the city bid for over £1 million funding for cultural events and programmes. In February 2018 two winning boroughs will be named for 2019 and 2020, while up to six boroughs could be eligible for £600,00 funding towards “an exemplary project”.

The winning boroughs will then be expected to develop “a plan to make culture an integral part of the borough’s future”. It is supported by a grant of £300,000 from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, which will give further resources in cultural assets, expertise and services.

A focus has been placed on funding bids that put communities at the centre of their programme, as well as plans with “artistic vision and ambition”. They will be encouraged to celebrate existing cultural landmarks and bring new opportunities to the area, and consider the legacy of their investments.

Leading institutions such as the Barbican, the Museum of London, the Roundhouse, Film London and the National Trust will help the winning boroughs, while the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will also collaborate on finding additional funding for projects.

Artists Bob and Roberta Smith helped launch the initiative with a new artwork, Art is Everywhere, framed with a list of all the boroughs.

The London mayor said at the launch: “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.”