Newham Council to produce a boroughwide cultural strategy

Newham Council has begun work on producing a cultural strategy that will play a key part in helping the borough to recover from the pandemic.

Driven by engagement and co-creation with residents, businesses and communities, it will result in a dynamic cultural offer that will enable them to participate in all that is celebratory, vibrant and diverse about Newham.

The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “I’m passionate about both providing everyone connected to Newham with opportunities as we rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic and nurture those existing networks, building on them to ensure that they continue to grow.

“Indeed, culture is a key element of the Towards a Better Newham Covid-19 Recovery Strategy. Building on our successful work with young people, the cultural strategy will provide access to the creative and cultural sectors across the borough.

“Not only will it encompass all existing and planned cultural activity and set the direction for the next 15 years, but it will also promote further cultural connections between the business and creative sectors and Newham’s rich and diverse culture.

“Only recently Newham became an Arts Council England (ACE) priority area for cultural investment over the next three years. This was a direct result of my determination that residents and businesses are prioritised in relation to arts and culture in what is one of the most creative and diverse parts of the UK.”

The development of The Talent House on Stratford’s Sugar House Island as a performing arts and music centre and the reinvention of Alice Billings House as a creative hub are symbolic of the exciting artistic future which the borough can look forward to. They will complement the BBC, V&A, Sadler’s Wells and the London College of Fashion when they all open at the East Bank in Stratford.

In addition, with 2021 being the Year of the Young Person and the tenth anniversary of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games coming soon, Newham is well placed to be at the forefront of cultural provision in London.

The council has appointed the London-based practice Publica to work with it on the production of the strategy and it will be submitted to next February’s Cabinet meeting.

Published: 28 Oct 2021