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Merton Council's cultural impact award

Merton Council Leader, Stephen Alambritis with London Mayor Sidiq Khan

Merton Council which attended our January 'Art, Investment and Cities' Forum at RIBA, is one of only six London councils to secure impact funding through the London Borough of Culture competition.

The award was announced this week with Waltham Forest and Brent receiving the main prize money while Merton was named a runner-up with a cultural impact funding award, along with Barking and Dagenham (£160,000), Camden (£145,000), Kingston (£90,000), Lambeth (£200,000) and Lewisham (£216,000). Cultural concerns have become important drivers for London Boroughs and the London Borough of Culture Competition was funded with an overall £3.5 million.

Camden Council presented at our January Forum highlighting the many music venues as well as cultural attractions and museums that the borough has to offer.

Merton's particular winning strategy was to suggest bringing 'film' to the whole of Merton, creating spaces for pop-up cinemas across the borough. There will be seasons of short films curated by the community and guest curators. There will also be three short films delivered by early career film-makers. The aim is to work with the British Film Institute Academy graduates.

Merton Council says the judges were impressed with the calibre of Merton's bid which includes 25 community commissions, three show-stopping 'spectaculars', and business development initiatives, promoting inclusiveness.

Merton Council Leader, Stephen Alambritis, who attended our arts investment event, said 'We have a great art college her in Merton, Wimbledon College of Arts (part of the world leading University of the Arts London), located in both Wimbledon and Merton Park, and it will be working on the film and cinema project. Recent investment for the borough has also taken place under our 'Rediscover Mitcham' which involved a £6 million programme to attract major developers and Berkeley Homes have just agreed to build quality flats in the old gasworks,'

The Guardian Newspaper reported this week that research among young people in Brent during the campaign, revealed that not one of them had been to a Tate Gallery and none had heard of the National Theatre. Mayor Sadiq Khan, said ‘ we should be shocked…culture is the DNA of our city’ confirming that the borough of culture programmes will be a game changer for London. Waltham Forest is making sure that 85% of households participate in one cultural activity during this year.

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