Barking and Dagenham launches bid to become London Borough of Culture

Barking and Dageham Council have launched a bid to become London's borough of culture. Picture credi

Barking and Dageham Council have launched a bid to become London's borough of culture. Picture credit: LBBD - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham has thrown its hat into the ring to become London’s Borough of Culture.

The council says “the strong tradition of cultural participation that takes place in the borough” makes it an ideal fit.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan invited the city’s 32 boroughs to submit an application to receive the accolade in June.

Two winners will be announced - one for 2019 and another for 2020.

The bid’s announcement follow’s last month’s news of plans to create a world-class film studio in Dagenham.


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The council has enlisted the support of Dagenham’s Eurovision winner Sandie Shaw to help publicise their bid.

“I owe so much to the place that inspired my dreams and the people who nurtured them. We are so ready for this opportunity,” she said.

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“Our borough is a happening waiting to happen. So much burgeoning talent and enthusiasm just waiting for the opportunity to shine. Teaming with exciting life enhancing ideas that express and bring together our wonderful multi-cultured community.

“What couldn’t we do with these resources? We are so ready for this opportunity. Bring it on Sadiq!”

Winning boroughs will receive £1.1 million funding for community-led organisations. The council is refusing to disclose how much it plans to spend on its bid at this stage.

Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “The time is right for Barking and Dagenham to make a commitment to the role of culture in every aspect of life in the borough. The London Borough of Culture scheme will help us to achieve this goal.

“Culture helps our economy by creating jobs and supporting young people to realise their potential. It strengthens the distinctive identity of our borough.

“Culture can provide learning opportunities for all ages and abilities, break down barriers between people and help communities to thrive.”

The council is hoping its record of putting on events, including the Summer of Festivals, will boost its bid.

Barking and Dagenham has launched its bid with two weeks to spare before the December 1 deadline.

The vast majority of boroughs have already launched a bid.

The official launch will take place this Friday between 1pm and 2pm in Barking Town Square.

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