Southwark submits bid for London Borough of Culture

4 December 2017

Southwark Council has submitted a bold bid to Sadiq Khan for the title of London Borough of Culture, and more than £1million in funding for arts programmes that the title attracts.

The council’s bid has been supported by Mark Rylance, Jenny Eclair, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark's creative network, Southwark's business forum and more than four thousand more.

It explains that Southwark is ambitious in everything it does, whether it’s building new homes, helping its residents into work or tackling inequalities and it is widely held that if anyone can, Southwark can.

The council says it recognises the huge potential of the arts to help shape neighbourhoods and bring communities together – which is why it has worked with developers to include theatres, music venues and affordable art space in new developments across the borough.

Diversity underpins and strengthens Southwark, it is a united borough, something that has been tested and proved with the events of this summer. But there is always more to be done to bring together diverse communities, not just when the clouds are threatening, but when the sun is shining too.

The council’s bid ended with a celebration in the form of a historical production created by Emergency Exit Arts and Output Arts. On 1 December a five meter high Father Thames  led a lantern parade. Together with South London Samba he guided an audience through local neighbourhoods, projecting his memories on walls and arches along the route, from Lancaster Estate Gardens to Mint Street Park, where the crowd was met with a fireworks display.

Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Social Regeneration, said: “The focus of our bid is on working in the heart of our communities, in the estates, parks and on the streets to create new works of art and cultural celebrations by and for our residents, friends and visitors.

“But we have the resources, skills, creativity, talent and partnerships in place to deliver a spectacular showcase, not just for Southwark, but for the whole of London and beyond.

“As London Borough of Culture, we will support the next generation of Southwark Pioneers so that the legacy and impact of our year will be felt for many decades to come.”

Page last updated: 04 December 2017