3 months ago

Wandsworth Wins Big: Crowned London’s Next Borough of Culture for 2025

Oh, Wandsworth, you shining jewel in the crown of south London, you’ve gone and done it!

Credit: Wandsworth Council

The vibrant and endlessly creative borough of Wandsworth has been named the next London Borough of Culture, set to dazzle us all from April 2025. This accolade was announced at a glittering event on Monday, and let’s just say, the excitement in the air was palpable. Simon Hogg, the proud leader of Wandsworth Council, couldn’t contain his enthusiasm, proclaiming they’re gearing up to “deliver a year to remember.” And how could they not, with the hundreds of community organizations, creative hotspots, schools, businesses, and residents of all ages pouring their hearts and souls into shaping a bid that was nothing short of triumphant?

But hold your horses, folks, because Wandsworth isn’t the only borough basking in the spotlight. Haringey has also snagged the title for 2027, ensuring London’s cultural calendar is looking bright for years to come. Both boroughs are set to receive a cool £1.35m from City Hall to bring their cultural dreams to life, following in the footsteps of Croydon, which had its own spectacular run as the London Borough of Culture starting from April 2023.

Credit: James Tye

This fierce competition saw Wandsworth and Haringey pitted against other cultural contenders including Barnet, Ealing, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Havering, Merton, and Newham. But fear not, for Barnet, Merton, and Greenwich haven’t walked away empty-handed, each nabbing Cultural Impact Awards to the tune of £200,000. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was all praises for the London Borough of Culture award, calling it a “cornerstone in the capital’s calendar.” He highlighted how this initiative uses the magic of culture to knit communities closer, inspire the youth, and give the local economy a hearty boost.

Simon Hogg is all in, vowing that the mayor’s funding will be the rocket fuel Wandsworth needs to deliver “a year to remember.” With plans to use culture as a transformative power, the aim is to connect people, uplift spirits, and enhance wellbeing, something we all could use a bit more of these days.

Credit: Reuters

Koko Idiong, a 17-year-old who played a pivotal role in presenting Wandsworth’s winning bid, spoke of the borough’s “diverse arts and culture scene” with pride. Wandsworth is, after all, home to cultural landmarks like the Battersea Arts Centre, the Royal College of Art, and the National Opera Studio, not to mention grassroots arts organizations and attractions such as Battersea Park and the historic Battersea Power Station.

And let’s not forget about Haringey, gearing up to showcase its “rebel borough” spirit in 2027, with leader Peray Ahmet promising a celebration of the borough’s radical history. So, hats off to Wandsworth and Haringey! We’re all on the edge of our seats, eagerly awaiting the cultural extravaganza that these boroughs are set to unleash. Here’s to celebrating the power of culture in bringing us together and making London an even more vibrant place to live, work, and play.

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