Lewisham named London Borough of Culture for 2021

Lewisham is to receive £1.35m in funding to stage a year-long programme of cultural events celebrating the wealth of creative talent in the borough next year.

The London Borough of Culture award is part of the Mayor of London’s plans to support grassroots arts in the city.  It shines a light on the diversity of London’s 32 boroughs as they pull out all the stops to bid for the funding.

“Our bid focused on Lewisham’s proud history of activism, harnessing the power of art and culture to make long-lasting social change,” said a statement jointly issued by Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, and Kim Wright, Lewisham Council chief executive.

“We were blown away by the level of support we received: community groups, arts organisations and residents alike all pledged their support for our bid.

“Our ambitious programme has critical issues like climate change and migration at its heart. We are so excited to be London Borough of Culture 2021 and we can’t wait to get started.”

Lewisham will work with large local organisations such as Goldsmiths University of London, the Horniman Museum, Trinity Laban and the Albany, alongside grassroots organisations, artists and local communities.

The competition is now in its third year. The London Borough of Waltham Forest was the first holder in 2019, and Brent has now taken over for 2020. Today’s announcement also saw Croydon revealed as winner for 2023.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Culture has the power to bring communities together and transform young people’s lives, and I’m very proud of the impact 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.”

Look out for more information on Lewisham’s Borough of Culture website iamlewisham.uk