Wandsworth team presents case to be London Borough of Culture 2025

Published: Thursday, February 8, 2024

  • Expert panel today considers Wandsworth bid to become The Mayor of London's London Borough of Culture 2025.
  • Bid reinforces drive to become a fairer, more compassionate borough.
  • Access to arts and culture to be the same for people from all walks of life. 

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Team Wandsworth gets ready to bid: L-R Head of Communications Sagar Sharma, Leader Simon Hogg, Koko Idiong, BAC's Tarek Iskander , Head of Arts & Culture Sara O'Donnell, Chief Executive Mike Jackson

Team Wandsworth presented its case to become The Mayor of London's London Borough of Culture 2025 today. The team set out an intention to deliver an incredible year of Culture that connects people to life-changing experiences, unlocks potential, inspires joy, and supports wellbeing.  

The Wandsworth team included the Leader of the Council Simon Hogg, Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director & CEO of Battersea Arts Centre, and Koko Idiong, a Group 64 Youth Theatre intern. The team presented and responded to questions from an interview panel consisting of officers from Greater London Authority and independent representatives from across the cultural and creative sector. 

Wandsworth’s bid showcases an incredible heritage, arts and culture scene uniquely placed to deliver a year of culture that has the power to inspire, connect, unite and heal.  

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched the London Borough of Culture in 2017 to ensure all Londoners have access to culture, to give grassroots creativity the chance to shine and demonstrate how culture can inspire and unleash the potential of young Londoners. It has been a boost to boroughs that have been involved, with more than 3,000 young people, 2,200 artists and partners, 3,370 volunteers and 315 schools have taken part in the successful creative programmes delivered by previous winners Waltham Forest, Brent, Lewisham and Croydon.

Simon Hogg, Leader of Wandsworth Council said:  

“London Borough of Culture aims to bring people together and put culture at the heart of local communities. Wandsworth is a fantastic place to live. Our strong and diverse communities represent the best of modern Britain – from Tooting and Roehampton to Battersea and Putney.  

“Our borough is changing as never before, and we’ve been listening to thousands of residents and hundreds of organisations as we shaped our bid to be London Borough of Culture. They told us how much they love Wandsworth, but also the challenges they face.  

“That’s why in Wandsworth, through 2025 and beyond, we want everyone to experience the inspiring power of culture - wherever you live, study, eat or worship – we want your access to arts and culture to be the same.” 



Tarek Iskander Artistic Director & CEO of Battersea Arts Centre said: 

“Wandsworth has always been a home for the pioneering and the under-represented, the visionary and the mischievous. It’s that uncompromising, radical and rebellious spirit that positions us to deliver an outstanding year as London Borough of Culture. It’s an opportunity that will bring together the rich tapestry of local creative and voluntary partners, with the collective purpose of transforming the health, prospects and happiness for the people of Wandsworth. The legacy of this vital work, and what it will do for redressing inequalities, will be felt for decades to come.” 

Koko Idiong, Group 64 Youth Theatre Intern said: 

“London Borough of Culture 2025 will connect young people to life-changing experiences – unlocking potential, inspiring joy, and supporting wellbeing, I think it is really important for culture to be available to more people – we’ve got such an incredible heritage, arts and culture scene in Wandsworth – more people should have a chance to experience it.” 

If successful Wandsworth as London Borough of Culture 2025 will ensure more opportunities for local people and visitors from all walks of life to take part in, create and be inspired by the borough’s rich arts and culture offer.  

Shaping our bid

As the first London borough to publicly announce its culture campaign in June 2023, Wandsworth Council have consulted thousands of local people and gather a wide range of views to help shape the borough’s bid. 

This is the first time Wandsworth has entered the London-wide competition.  

Find out more about Wandsworth's bid to be London Borough of Culture 2025