London Borough of Culture will explore city's hidden heritage

Blondel Cluff, Chair of the London Committee
Blondel Cluff, Chair of the London Committee
As the Mayor of London announces the London Borough of Culture competition today, Blondel Cluff, Chair of HLF’s London Committee, praises the initiative and shares her love of the city.

Why I love London!

London is a spectacular place that has evolved over the past two thousand years, taking in numerous towns, villages and country estates and at the same time maintaining a strong sense of its own identity.

London is the greenest city in Europe, boasting over 47 per cent green and blue space, and is connected to the rest of the UK by a network of canals and waterways that radiate out from the capital’s lifeblood, the glorious Thames.

[quote]"London is a spectacular place with a strong sense of its own identity."[/quote]

At one time, over a third of the world’s population was administered from the capital, a fact reflected today in the city’s vibrant global character. This world heritage identity is very much alive on the streets of London that are home to 8.6 million inhabitants, the most ethnically diverse population in the UK. Its thriving tourism industry contributes more than £36billion to the economy every year and supports around 700,000 jobs.

Heritage in our modern life

I see heritage as a powerful asset that provides a means of creating inspiring education, training, and employment opportunities for the people and communities of London and can benefit us all. Heritage comes in many guises, from memories, customs and practices, together with tangible heritage that may be both natural and man-made.

[quote]"I see heritage as a powerful asset that can benefit us all."[/quote]

But all too often heritage is hidden in plain sight as things we all take for granted, and depend upon as a familiar, reassuring aspect of our lives - whether the bandstand in our local park, a place of worship, a favourite picture in a gallery, familiar slang or homely food, these are all meaningful dimensions of life in London that bind us to one another.

Involve your heritage in London Borough of Culture

Each of London’s boroughs has its own distinct heritage. The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture competition is therefore an exciting opportunity for them to compete for a unique and prestigious title and for us all to celebrate heritage together. The programme will run for two years with the first London Borough of Culture inaugurated in 2019, and a second in 2020. Each of the two winners will receive a support package from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to run an inspiring cultural programme, celebrating the distinctive character, people and places of that borough.

[quote]"Each of London’s boroughs has its own distinct heritage."[/quote]

HLF will also offer the winning boroughs the opportunity to apply for our funding to raise the profile of their heritage and culture, creating much-needed opportunities for those that visit, live, work and study there.

The London Borough of Culture programme is now open to proposals and winners will be announced in early 2018.

 I would like to thank the millions of National Lottery players that enable us to support the London Borough of Culture – good luck, London!

To find out more visit the Mayor of London’s website.

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