Croydon has been named London Borough of Culture for 2023, fending off competition from across the capital.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the borough’s bid, This is Croydon, had scooped the title and the £1.35m funding award at City Hall this morning (11 February).
Croydon 2023 will celebrate the borough’s rich artistic heritage, creativity and diversity, and its strength and resilience as a town that always looks to the future, promoting inclusivity and ensuring no community is left behind.
At a time when political, environmental and economic uncertainty has dominated the headlines, it will empower local communities, demonstrating how the arts can lead change.
With 10 flagship cultural events and hundreds of community projects, Croydon’s ambitious programme will involve 20,000 participants, every school, 300 volunteers, audiences of over 250,000 and over 1,500 artists.
“This is fantastic news – this award is for all of Croydon and everyone who has worked so hard in our bid. From Stormzy to our very own Shaniqua Benjamin, Croydon is the home of talent, with a rich music heritage as the birthplace of punk, grime and more, and we have an exciting future ahead. We are going to make 2023 a celebration of our town’s wonderful diversity and repay the Mayor’s belief in us. This is Croydon – and we are incredibly proud.”
Councillor Tony Newman, Leader of the Council
“I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this fantastic achievement – our culture team, the partners in our bid, and our cultural network. Through This is Croydon, we will show the rest of London and the world how the arts can empower communities to write their own futures and tell their own stories.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
The Leader of Croydon Council and Councillor Oliver Lewis were both at City Hall this morning to welcome the news, with council Chief Executive Jo Negrini, members of the council’s culture team and three representatives from the Croydon Culture Network who helped shape the bid: Malti Patel from Apsara Arts, Lizzie Lambie from FMM Pop Up and Shaniqua Benjamin from Young People Insight.
More information can be found at www.croydon.gov.uk/thisiscroydon