Announcing the winners of London Borough of Culture!

The wait is over, the hard work paid off and we have made history!

21 March 2018

The Mayor recently announced Waltham Forest as the first ever London Borough of Culture in 2019. Council leader Clare Coghill shares her excitement at the news… 

The wait is over, the hard work paid off and we have made history!

On 27 February, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, named Waltham Forest as London's very first Borough of Culture. In choosing Waltham Forest, he said what set our bid apart was the level of community involvement and its ambition. 

I know all too well that Waltham Forest’s people are our greatest asset. More than 14,000 of them pledged their support for our bid. I am so delighted that we won. 

We were the first council to launch our bid. Our programme of events will ensure Londoners get to be a part of a spectacular year of events including a film festival in Leytonstone; laser installation in Epping Forest and a digital art extravaganza on Walthamstow Marshes.  

There will be something for everyone to enjoy and get involved in. The award will bring people to Waltham Forest who have never visited before, or maybe even heard of us. It will put us on the map bringing investment and taking our growing cultural offer to another level. 

Only this week, we announced that Waltham Forest Council was buying the former Granada cinema. This will create a thousand-seater comedy and theatre venue in the heart of Walthamstow run by Soho Theatre. 

For those that don’t know, this is a beautiful ornate baroque building with a stage once graced by The Beatles and The Who. 

As the first ever winner of the London Borough of Culture award, we’ve the added privilege of setting the benchmark for the award itself. 

Our year of culture will be about showcasing local talent as much as the place itself. To ensure the award’s legacy we want to emphasise our young people.

This success will be measured by those who go on to have careers in the creative industries. That’s why we’re creating work placements and apprenticeships through a new Creative Education Partnership. This will continue long after our year in the spotlight ends.

London Borough of Culture will help to put us more firmly on London’s cultural map. It will celebrate the unique and distinctive creativity, character and diversity of our borough.

These are exciting times for Waltham Forest. People already want to live and open businesses here. Soon they’ll want to be entertained here too. 

Find out more at 

Proud to be London Borough of Culture 2019

Share this page