Merton Misses Out On London Borough Of Culture Bid

But it receives funding to transform the borough's film offering

Merton missed out on its bid to be London Borough of Culture, but it is to receive £40,000 in funding to transform the borough’s film offering in 2019.

It is one of six boroughs to be receiving money from the Mayor’s Cultural Impact Awards pot, and will use the funds to bring film to the whole of Merton, creating spaces for pop-up cinemas across the borough.

There will be seasons of short films curated by the community and guest curators. These will be played at the new pop-up cinema locations across Merton.

There will also be three short films delivered by early career film-makers together with the community. The aim is to work with British Film Institute Academy graduates.

The winning bid for the London Borough of Culture title and £1.35m prize in 2019 went to Waltham Forest, with Brent following it in 2020. 

John Merriman, the Chair of Merton’s London Borough of Culture bid, said: “We are incredibly proud of the collaborative way in which the bid was pulled together.  It was very much ‘the people’s bid’ and brought together the strength of Merton’s creative industries, its sporting heritage and its huge multifaceted artistic talent from the length and breadth of the borough that made this bid a remarkable and a worthy winner for funding.”

Councillor Nick Draper, Cabinet Member for Community and Culture, said: “We are incredibly proud that Merton has earned funding from the prestigious London Borough of Culture Award Fund.

"Merton has a wealth of creative talent from all over the world: this is the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together from across the borough to celebrate our unique heritage and rich cultural life. This includes the strong business partnerships that have been forged throughout the bidding process which have been invaluable and will have a lasting legacy moving forward.

"We are grateful to the Mayor of London for selecting Merton for our exciting and progressive proposal which will have a lasting impact for families throughout the Borough.”

London Borough of Culture competition, local London Assembly Member, Leonie Cooper AM, said: “Although Merton missed out on the two top spots, it has been great to see local councillors, businesses and residents receive a Cultural Impact Award as recognition for all of the hard work and enthusiasm they have put into the bid, and receive a pot of funding to go towards a bespoke local project.

“This competition has truly brought the creative communities together and highlighted the amount of talent we have in our local area."

Part of Merton’s bid was an “augmented reality matrix” which will be embedded across Merton as well as a virtual reality festival.

The judges said they were impressed with the calibre of Merton’s bid which includes 25 community commissions, three show-stopping ‘spectaculars’, business development initiatives and a film festival.

These are all captured under six over-arching strands focused on building a united Merton which promotes togetherness and inclusivity. To get involved with the London Borough of Culture activities please see here.

February 27, 2018

Related links
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Merton Culture bid

John Merriman, Chair of Merton’s Culture bid Advisory Group, and The Mayor of Merton, Councillor Marsie Skeete