Why we hold events in Southwark's parks and open spaces

Events in Southwark parks

In June 2017 Southwark Council launched Creative Southwark, its new cultural strategy. The strategy sets out Southwark’s vision to 2022 placing culture and the creative industries at the heart of its priorities, shaping the context and delivering a range of programmes that support our long term ambition of Southwark being the first choice for people to live, work, study and visit. It focuses on three main areas:

  1. First is Creative Economy, ensuring that we provide the right environment for the creative industries and employment in these industries to thrive.  It also highlights the need to develop creative skills as a response to the curriculum moving away from arts subjects.
  2. Second is Creative Growth ensuring that we support the growth of the creative and cultural sector supporting existing cultural venues and spaces and welcoming new ones. This includes our parks and open spaces, as venues for outdoor events and expanding what we are able to offer.
  3. And finally Creative People, that will ensure that all of the above directly benefits the residents of Southwark, that there is access to a high quality cultural offer and that this can positively impact on the health of the borough. 

The parks are one of Southwarks most visited attractions and currently host over 100 free community events per year and a range of income generating events. Having a varied and well managed outdoor events programme offers much value and benefits to residents of Southwark. Events in parks are an important aspect of park life and Southwark is committed to supporting events that contribute to a vibrant culture, environment and economy.

We will strongly advocate for local businesses to deliver key event services such as catering, staffing, production and talent. This approach ensures that residents and businesses in Southwark will benefit directly from the event activity. It also contributes to our ambition of growing Southwark’s creative economy and generates sustainable employment opportunities for local people within the creative industries. 

There is no doubt that events also provide a vital source of income to Southwark; without our events income we could not continue to maintain the parks to high standards or support free community event activity against a backdrop of declining government funding.

As custodians of these unique spaces, we seek to balance the enjoyment and inclusion that events in open spaces can bring to the communities and visitors we serve locally, nationally and internationally, with the provision of spaces for quiet enjoyment and relaxation.

If you'd like to leave feedback on events in open spaces, please contact events@southwark.gov.uk

Page last updated: 31 July 2023


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