Haringey bids to be named ‘London Borough of Culture’ for 2027

The council has submitted a formal bid to City Hall in an attempt to win £1.35m to spend on a year of local cultural activities, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

The Haringey Feast event held last month at Alexandra Palace (credit Shotbyfrederick)
The Haringey Feast event held last month at Alexandra Palace (credit Shotbyfrederick)

Haringey has entered into the race to be crowned ‘London Borough of Culture’ for 2027 – competing against eight other boroughs to receive an award of up to £1.35million.

The winning borough will deliver a programme of events, projects and activities to showcase their area’s creativity.

Haringey’s bid is entitled “Rebel Borough” and if chosen will see a year-long festival of culture come to Haringey with community-curated events taking place in all 21 wards.

The council estimates the programme would involve around 600 local artists and partners and see around 300,000 people participating in cultural activities delivered through the borough’s cultural spaces, including Alexandra Palace, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Jackson’s Lane and Bruce Castle Museum.

The bid forms part of Haringey Council’s plan to transform the borough’s cultural offer. Two influential figures from London’s cultural scene, Yamin Choudury and Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, have been brought in as the borough’s new assistant directors for culture and creativity, to bring expertise and experience, while a new culture strategy is in the works to set out Haringey’s ambitions for the coming years.

As well as naming a London Borough of Culture for 2027, three ‘cultural impact awards’ will also be given out by City Hall, which earn winners a prize of £200,000 each. All winners will be announced on 11th March 2024. Haringey won a cultural impact award in 2019, which funded a project called Haringey Feast.

If named London Borough of Culture, the council would build on the success of Haringey Feast, which concluded with an event at Alexandra Palace in November and involved over 2,000 local residents in a wide range of creative workshops.

Emily Arkell cabinet member for culture, communities and leisure, said: “I’m thrilled to announce that we have entered our bid to be London’s Borough of Culture for 2027. We have ambitious plans when it comes to culture and creativity in Haringey, and this programme would provide a major boost in supporting our arts and culture scene to thrive. 

“Our successful Haringey Feast project showed our capacity to deliver superb, inclusive cultural events and activities that empower our residents to be producers and makers, not just consumers, of culture.

“Our Borough of Culture bid is grounded in this spirit of collaboration and participation which would bring arts and creativity right into the heart of our local communities.” 

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