The competition for the titles was intense with all bidding boroughs having submitted very strong proposals to put culture at the heart of their boroughs and to host a year-long programme of its celebration, bringing residents together, stimulating creativity, investment and opportunity for all.
Three boroughs were also awarded a Cultural Impact Award of funding up to a maximum of £200,000 to deliver specific projects from their bids. These were the London Boroughs of Sutton, Hammersmith & Fulham and Haringey.
Naturally, there is disappointment for Hounslow. Our bid, using the concept of a ‘Culture Superhighway’ to create an unstoppable movement of people, ideas and opportunities, mobilised considerable support from our residents, our cultural partners such as Watermans, Feltham Arts and from a range of stakeholders, such as University of West London and JC Decaux.
However, all is not lost. The process of preparing our bid and the extensive engagement and collaboration with our cultural sector has given culture in the borough a great boost. Our bright and bold campaign and the rallying cry of #GoHounslow has awakened in many the possibility of connecting our borough through culture. The groundwork for an ambitious new cultural strategy has been laid and this is just the start! We will take stock with our cultural partners, stakeholders and residents and consider how we take forward many of the fantastic ideas in our bid.
Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Services at Hounslow Council said:
“While we are disappointed that 2021 will not be Hounslow’s Year of Culture, we warmly congratulate Lewisham and Croydon for their successful bids and wish them great success with their programmes. London is brimming with culture at every turn and each borough has a great story to tell.
“Our very strong bid has helped lay the foundations for many exciting things to come. We are one of London’s fastest growing boroughs and we will embrace and celebrate our wonderful cultural assets, extending opportunity to our talented young people through close collaboration with industry and our vibrant cultural sector.
“I want to thank all those partners who worked so closely with us on the bid and for all those who backed us. I would also like to thank the team of officers at Hounslow Council who worked so hard developing our excellent bid and ran such a strong campaign. Look out for further details as we develop our next steps. Go Hounslow!”