Search starts for London’s borough of culture

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a search Friday for the capital’s first ever borough of culture.

One of London’s 32 boroughs will win the debut culture prize in 2019, and a second will be named as culture borough the following year.

The new major award will see boroughs bidding for more than a million pounds of funding to stage a program of world-class cultural events and initiatives, and to develop a plan to make culture an integral part of the boroughs’ future.

The competition will also be supported by a grant of 400,000 U.S. dollars from the City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder.

Inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programs, the competition will fulfill one of Khan’s key manifesto pledges, aiming to strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture, by highlighting the hidden cultural gems across the capital.

The top bids will be expected to shine a spotlight on existing cultural treasures as well as bringing new cultural opportunities to the area, including festivals, exhibitions, pop ups, and other arts activities.

Mayor Khan said at Friday’s official launch: “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.

A wide range of London’s leading cultural institutions will help the winning boroughs to realize their vision, including the Barbican, the Museum of London, the Roundhouse, Film London and the National Trust and others.

The competition will span boroughs in the center of London, such as the city of Westminster to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to outer London boroughs.

The closing date for bids is Dec. 1, with the winning boroughs announced in February 2018.

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