Tower Hamlets launches bid to become 'London Borough of Culture'

Tower Hamlets is bidding to become the ‘London Borough of Culture’ and is calling on residents, businesses and visitors to back the bid.

The Mayor of London is offering £1.1m to the winners of the 2019 and 2020 competitions to spend on culture. Being chosen will generate thousands of opportunities to residents and businesses, including a year’s worth of cultural events, new jobs and investment.

The bids will close on 1st December and will then be submitted to the Mayor of London for the final decision.  The winning bid will be announced in February 2018.

Public support will be vital to the bid. So, today, the council launched a new website where people will be able to sign up and back the Tower Hamlets campaign. They can do this at They can also give their views on how the £1.1m could be spent, and share views and images of cultural life in the borough on social media by using the hashtag #ShowTimeTH.

It has been an outstanding week for the arts and culture in Tower Hamlets, with the long awaited return of Henry Moore’s ‘Old Flo’ sculpture to its new home in Canary Wharf and the announcement of a major deal with AEG International promotions to stage the All Points East festival in Victoria Park next year.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:

“When it comes to culture, Tower Hamlets offers the best of London in one borough. 

“We have a unique story to tell and this is our opportunity to show our rich heritage, where we are now and where we want to be as a borough. 

“From the Tower of London to Victoria Park, taking in the Boishakhi Mela in Weaver’s Fields and major London festivals such as the new All Points East, we have one of the most diverse cultural offers anywhere in the UK.

"Every pledge on our website will count towards our bid.  So please visit and sign the pledge.

Tower Hamlets' Cultural Offer

Our borough has been built on entrepreneurship as people come from across the world to make better lives for themselves. Stories of travel, creativity and enterprise define us and create a rich mix of culture, enterprise and talent.

Diversity is our strength. We have some of the highest rates of community cohesion in the country and the cornerstone of this success is the way we celebrate different cultures.  

This heritage and creativity is ever present in our colourful markets and high streets such as Shoreditch, Columbia Road Flower Market or Brick Lane, while the docks and the Tower of London are integral parts of the capital’s maritime and royal history.

More recent arrivals such as Canary Wharf and the City Fringe are at the leading edge of culture, offering events every week for workers and visitors.

We have award winning parks and great social spaces that house world-class art like Henry Moore’s Old Flo sculpture.

Music is in our DNA. Our streets are the birthplace of grime music and we host major festivals including AEG’s new All Points East festival at Victoria Park, the Boishakhi Mela and A Season of Bangla Drama.

Tower Hamlets has a unique cultural offer, but we could do so much more to tell our story to London and to the world

Back our bid and tell the world why Tower Hamlets should be London Borough of Culture.

Posted on Friday 27th October 2017