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Ealing lose out to Wandsworth and Haringey for Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award

Ealing has lost out to Wandsworth and Haringey who are the winners of London Borough of Culture for 2025 and 2027.

Ealing was up against Barnet, Greenwich, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Havering, Merton, Newham, Wandsworth for the award which celebrates creativity and character of London boroughs.

Wandsworth and Haringey will receive £1.35m each to put on a variety of creative and cultural events. 

Ealing also wasn’t selected for one of three Culture Impact Awards which went to Barnet, Merton and Greenwich. The three boroughs will also get up to £200,000 to put on smaller scale projects in their borough.   

The London Borough of Culture has been running since 2017 and previous winner were Waltham Forest, Brent, Lewisham and Croydon.

Wandsworth will focus on how culture unites people and for 2025 will will include a ‘Strictly Wandsworth’ mass dance, a catwalk celebration of local stories, and a concert celebrating 50 years of Wandsworth music.

In 2027, Haringey will celebrate Haringey’s working-class history, LGBTQI+ community, and music. Its events will include a free family festival, a fashion and design show, and a community concert.  

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am thrilled to be announcing the London Borough of Culture for 2025 and 2027. This prestigious award has become a cornerstone in the capital’s calendar, using the power of culture to unite communities, transform young people’s lives and boost the local economy. Cultural programmes like the London Borough of Culture form a crucial part of our work to provide positive opportunities for young people, who have seen youth clubs taken away from them due to more than a decade of Government cuts. We’ve seen the difference that it’s made in Waltham Forest, Brent, Lewisham and Croydon, and I’m excited to see Wandsworth and Haringey’s fantastic ideas come to life as we build a better London for all.”  

Deputy Mayor for culture and the creative industries, Justine Simons said: “Culture plays a vital role in bringing people from all backgrounds together and our London Borough of culture is an invitation for local communities to share and showcase their creativity. we know there is so much talent across the capital, it just needs a chance to shine.  Wandsworth and Haringey have two very different and equally exciting years planned, which celebrate their rich culture and heritage, it’s going to be a feast for all our senses and an amazing legacy for future generations.” 

For Ealing’s entry to be Borough of Culture, its application promised showcasing the rich history of culture throughout its seven towns from rock to bhangra and filmmaking to art.

Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council thanked those across the borough who supported its application.

He said: “Congratulations to Wandsworth and Haringey. We had great fun bringing Ealing’s cultural wizards together to make the bid and we’ll do so much more of what was in the bid anyway. 

“Thank you to all of our creative partners, the businesses who backed us and to all of you who showed your support for our bid. We plan on seeking funding elsewhere for some of the great ideas generated in our bid.  

“In 2022 we launched our Cultural Manifesto, outlining plans about how can make use arts and culture to make a positive impact for our communities. We will continue to support and create more cultural activities and opportunities for residents to enjoy the arts and develop careers in the cultural industries.  

“We think our bid was dynamic and exciting and the work of preparing it has only heightened those ambitions and made us realise anew the brilliant cultural potential of our communities across the 7 towns. Watch this space!” 

When submitting its application, at the time, Councillor Mason said: “Our bid will galvanise, energise and maybe even revolutionise our cultural grassroots, creating a diverse, relevant and sustainable new cultural heritage for the future. We want residents to be front and centre of cultural life in Ealing, and to work with us to develop a cultural hub in each of our 7 towns.”

Councillor Polly Knewstub, cabinet member for thriving communities, added at the time: “Becoming London’s Borough of Culture would help us create a cultural legacy in Ealing. Not only would it be a year of fabulous events, it would mean we can support our cultural organisations and creative businesses to build their resilience for the future.”

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