Merton Council calls on community to get involved and back its bid to become Borough of Culture

Merton Council believes it has what it takes to be crowned London’s ‘Borough of Culture’ in an exciting initiative recently launched by the Mayor of London.

Two of the capital’s 32 boroughs will hold the title in 2019 and 2020 hosting a series of events throughout the year that celebrate the spirit of their communities.

To be in with a chance of winning, the bids must meet the following three criteria: celebrating creativity, making an impact and deliverability.

The two winners will share a £1million pot with a further six boroughs receiving funding for specific projects.

The council has published a short questionnaire available on the council’s website to capture thoughts and ideas from creative providers, groups and individuals.

Response to the questionnaires should be returned to  Deadline for returns is 8 September.


Cllr Nick Draper, Merton Council’s cabinet member for Community and Culture, says the community’s involvement is crucial as it begins looking at potential ideas and projects.

Cllr Draper said: “This will be a fierce competition and Merton will be competing against boroughs with more money and resources.

“However, we have talent coming out of our ears in this borough and, if the council can work with its partners from the voluntary and private sectors to put together a strong, imaginative bid, we will be a force to be reckoned with”.

Organisers say a good example of a past cultural project was Cardiff which created the City of the Unexpected to celebrate the centenary of writer Roald Dahl, one of its most celebrated sons.

Cllr Draper added: “We have a vast array of talent in the arts, cultural areas, leisure and heritage as well as a range of culturally diverse communities to call upon and it is with these parties that we can put forward a bid to match any in London irrespective of the tough economic climate.

“It is a challenge but I believe the people of Merton are up for it and look forward to hearing from them.”