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Back our bid to make H&F the capital of London culture

Categoriesnews Arts and parksnews

Image captionImage 1: Paul Chowdhry is appearing at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo

A new website to trumpet Hammersmith & Fulham’s bid to be the next London Borough of Culture has been unveiled.

The new website allows residents and art lovers in H&F to ‘back the bid’ as we attempt to claim the title as the capital’s arts world in 2019 or 2020.

For rich cultural diversity, vibrant theatre, musical variety and stimulating youth projects, H&F is already ahead of the field, channelling the energy of a thousand different arts groups into a buzzy scene which inspires others to get involved. Artistic endeavours underpin the dynamic local economy, with the council’s collaborative new arts strategy (pdf) designed to put culture at the heart of policy-making.

Now we need you!

Winning the bid to become London’s 2019 or 2020 Borough of Culture would give a tremendous boost to existing drives to involve more residents in the arts, drawing on the pool of local talent and expertise to bring together diverse communities and celebrate worldwide culture.

If the bid is successful, a year-long calendar of events will be created using the £1.1million of fresh funding, aimed at bringing people together and acting as a springboard to create full-time jobs for young people, and mentoring programmes around the existing theatre, film, music and art centres of excellence.

You can have your say at these upcoming public meetings:

  • 13 November (5pm-7pm) at the Lyric Hammersmith in the Orr Room
  • 16 November (7pm-9pm) at Hammersmith Town Hall in the Small Hall
  • 21 November (2pm-4pm) at Hammersmith Town Hall in the Small Hall
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Image caption: Image 2: Van Morrison performing recently at Nell’s Jazz and Blues in West Kensington

Get cultured

The borough already has the basics in place to maximise the possibilities that a London Borough of Culture designation offers. And the core aims of the council’s new Arts Strategy include:

  • Destination: Boosting the local economy by developing and promoting a thriving borough for the arts
  • Creation: Supporting people to create and produce excellent art of all kinds
  • Inclusion: Giving residents from a wide range of backgrounds more opportunity to experience and participate in artistic and cultural activity.

Culture in H&F: bigger, better and louder

Culture in Hammersmith & Fulham is extraordinary: but we want it to be bigger, better and louder. If H&F wins the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture competition for either 2019 or 2020, it will:

  • build a cultural capital for West London in H&F
  • produce the best art and enabling the best artistic talent to grow
  • ensure everyone has their lives enriched by the arts.

Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said he believed the borough had the foundations in place to make the most of a London Borough of Culture bid. “We are working to make H&F one of the best places to work, live and socialise in Europe – and our heritage and arts venues give us an edge,” he said.

“Winning the bid for 2019 or 2020 would allow us to build on the arts scene generated by our existing facilities and inspire other Londoners – and people from the UK, Europe and further afield – to share what we are able to offer.”

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Image caption: Image 3: LAMDA’s production Gethsemane at the new Sainsbury Theatre

World-class venues

Hammersmith & Fulham already boasts world-class venues for theatre, music and dance, including Lyric Hammersmith, Bush Theatre, Fulham Palace, the Eventim Apollo, the Bhavan Centre, Bush Hall, the Irish Cultural Centre, the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, LAMDA, the Carne Studio Theatre, Sainsbury Theatre, Television Centre and Under the Bridge.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope plc, said: “We are backing the bid to make H&F the London Borough of Culture as it already has the infrastructure to deliver high quality arts and culture diversity for young and old alike and the potential to grow even further.

“We have already undertaken a number of high profile arts events and installations at our existing cultural hubs at Television Centre and White City Place and will continue to expand this activity with the local community, alongside global players like the BBC and ITV who are located in both sites.”

Petrea Owens, chair of HF ArtsFest, said: “Coinciding with the launch of the new strand of the 2018 HF ArtsFest called JOY – a celebration of disability arts – the Borough of Culture Bid offers a timely opportunity for disabled artists from all over H&F to join together to create, manage and produce outstanding events, demonstrating that our borough has something for everyone!”

And Krzysztof Mikata-Pralat, director of charity Fulham Good Neighbours which offers services to older, disabled or vulnerable people, said: “We very much welcomes to council’s bid. H&F is a diverse area with many fantastic cultural establishments, and becoming capital of culture would enrich the offer further.”

While Amy Lalla, director of youth arts and sports activity providers Let Me Play in West Kensington, said: “We are delighted to ‘Back the Bid’ for H&F. After 10 years of being based in the borough we are well aware of the rich and diverse culture that H&F offers for both residents and visitors.”