The results are in and Brent is celebrating after scooping the title of London Borough of Culture 2020.
The prestigious award will see Brent receive £1.35million to stage an ambitious year long programme of cultural events and activities, which will put culture at the heart of the borough’s future.
Brent fought off stiff competition from the 21 other London boroughs to win the title, which was awarded by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Waltham Forest will become the first London Borough of Culture in 2019 with Brent following in 2020 as the Euro 2020 football finals take place at Wembley Stadium.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Congratulations to Brent on their visionary proposal to become London Borough of Culture in 2020. Brent’s bid stood out as it had young people at its heart – exploring what culture means to them in the 21st century.
“As the home of reggae, Zadie Smith, the Tricycle Theatre and a truly diverse population, Brent’s bid has the potential to transform the local community – in the year of the Euro 2020 Championship, when all the world’s eyes will be on Wembley.”
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said: “With the eyes of the world already on Wembley for Euro 2020, becoming London Borough of Culture represents an amazing opportunity to celebrate the huge diversity of Brent and of our great city to a massive international audience.
“To live, work, visit or study in Brent is to hear music, experience art, hear voices, see faces and taste foods from all corners of the globe, all in one day. From the classroom, to the high roads and the arenas, we want to create moments of wonder, joy and celebration that will bring all our communities together like never before.
“Young people will take the lead in developing the programme as 2020 sees arts and culture cemented at the heart of life in Brent for a generation and beyond.
“A huge thank you to everyone who came together and worked on our bid – to all our cultural partners, and all the thousands of local residents who took such pride in Brent, and backed our bid.”
Brent’s bid was structured around seven key projects, showcasing the borough’s spirit of diversity, youthfulness and internationalism.
These include a collaboration with Vice and Brent’s young people to develop their skills across film, radio and writing, a huge street party taking place along a pedestrianised A5, and an open air ‘Museum of all Brent Life’. During the year, Brent will also host a reggae music festival, and a Brent anthem will be composed to be performed at Wembley Stadium during Euro 2020.
The council has pledged a further £300,000 to set up an independent Cultural Trust, to oversee the borough’s cultural programme.
A wide range of London’s leading cultural institutions will work with the winning boroughs – including the Barbican, the Museum of London, the Roundhouse, Film London and the National Trust and many more.
For more information about London Borough of Culture 2020 and to get involved, please visit www.brentculture2020.co.uk
Asif Iqbal, President of Harrow and Brent United Deaf Club; “I would like to say many congratulations to Brent Council in their success with Brent achieving ‘London Borough of Culture 2020 status. It is a fantastic achievement and on behalf of our Deaf club, we are thrilled with this news. We are also excited of what opportunities will brings to mark such occasion. We will ensure our members of Brent Deaf/ Hard of Hearing residents participate in those occasions without barriers.”