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YTF Dummies Guide to the London Borough of Culture (LBOC) Award

Here’s the scoop on some new Programme developments happening in and around Greater London designed to keep London in the limelight as the UK’s leading Cultural hotspot.


What is London Borough of Culture?

The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award will bring Londoners of all ages and backgrounds together. It will put culture at the heart of local communities, where it belongs.  It will shine a light on the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and show culture is for everyone. Now more than ever, the Mayor wants Londoners to get to know each other and feel part of our great city. Thanks to this new award, all Londoners will now have the chance to be part of something extraordinary.

In total, 22 boroughs submitted bids in December 2017 to be named London Borough of Culture.

In February 2018, Waltham Forest and Brent were both awarded £1.35m of funding to deliver a programme of ambitious cultural activities celebrating the unique character of local people and places.

Major Award winner – Waltham Forest: London Borough of Culture (2019)

Waltham Forest Town Hall Installation – Into the Forest by Greenaway in collaboration with Talvin Singh and Welcome to the Forest by Addictive TV – Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture 2019.
Photo Credit:Matt Alexander/PA Wire

This year sees Waltham Forest as the first ever London Borough of Culture. The award from the Mayor of London will ensure arts and culture is placed at the heart of our communities. They will deliver a year of exciting cultural activity across the outer London borough, and have an ambitious target of getting 85 per cent of households to participate, attracting half a million visits.

Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 will shine a light on the character, diversity and cultures of the borough, the things we have in common and the things that make us different.

Friday 11 January saw the inaugural Borough of Culture Opening event take off as the Waltham Forest Community celebrated with over 70,000 Londoners gathered.

World premieres of three new commissions by artists Greenaway & Greenaway, Talvin Singh, Addictive TV, Marshmallow Laser Feast and Erland Cooper created the unforgettable show Welcome to the Forest. Made with the help of thousands of local children and community groups, the weekend’s events provided a platform for local residents to shine and the stories of Waltham Forest to be told.

The year-long programme will shine a light on the character and diversity of Waltham Forest and demonstrate that culture is for everyone.

 Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has been instrumental in the birthing of the London Borough of Culture programme and made following statement :

“It was fantastic to be in Waltham Forest on Friday to see the start of the very first London Borough of Culture. The impressive weekend show kicked off an ambitious and exciting year which will see light installations on the marshes, internationally renowned artists collaborating with local schools, and music projects bringing communities together. Culture has the power to transform lives, and through the London Borough of Culture programme we will be helping more Londoners, regardless of their background, to enjoy the full benefits of the arts.”

If you are visiting London then a trip to Waltham Forest may give you a particularly unique cultural spectacle found in no other borough in London. Find out more about their plans for 2019.

Cultural Impact Award winners

There are two types of awards for London Borough of Culture; the major awards for 2019 and 2020 and the Cultural Impact Awards. Cultural Impact Awards were given to boroughs for exemplary individual projects highlighted in their applications. Six boroughs won for projects that will take place between 2018 and 2020.

Camden – Camden Alive                                                       Funding Allocated: £225,000

Camden Alive will establish a virtual Camden People’s Museum, whereby residents will be proud creators of the boroughs cultural life, enhancing feelings of neighbourliness and identity.

Kingston – Live Music                                                          Funding Allocated: £90,000

Kingston will create a live music circuit connecting venues, artists and promoters, and build on the area’s rich music heritage.

Lambeth – Next Generation                                                Funding Allocated: £200,000

Lewisham – Festival of Creative Ageing                         Funding Allocated: £216,000

The Albany and Entelechy Arts will launch a Festival of Creative Ageing in Lewisham. This will harness the power of culture to help people live longer, happier, more independent lives. The centrepiece will be an immersive theatre experience devised with older residents.

Merton – Film Merton                                                          Funding Allocated: £40,000

Merton is taking an innovative approach to establish a new local cinema in Mitcham. By demonstrating resident demand through a new film festival curated by local people, the borough will make the case for future investment.

Barking and Dagenham – New Town Culture              Funding Allocated: £233,000


 Brent to shine in 2020 as LBOC

Next year (2020) the torch passes to the London Borough of Brent our very own borough. YTF was birthed in Brent so it remains close to our hearts AND we are looking forward to being a part of that celebration. We will keep you posted on local community events right through the borough. COMING SOON.

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