Newham, one of London’s most vibrant and diverse boroughs, is set to become a cultural beacon following the launch of its creative and cultural strategy programme, Building Newham’s Creative Future.
The strategy is the foundation for driving inclusion and participation from across the borough by unlocking cultural and creative opportunities and is a key part of inclusive growth in Newham.
The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, said: “This ambitious strategy sets out a visionary 15 year plan demonstrating how creative and cultural industries can contribute to our community wealth building agenda.
“I want Newham to be at the forefront of culture across London and beyond, creating lasting change and benefits that will be felt by all our residents as well as making Newham a destination and home for the very best cultural and creative organisations.
“Newham has a rich history and our diverse communities are at the heart of everything we do. I believe that the Building Newham’s Creative Future strategy will help drive investment, engagement and participation.
“Engaging in creativity and culture can be wholly enriching and it is important the health and wellbeing benefits of this are felt by you all. Our Newham Unlocked Festival has been a wonderful showcase for the diversity of Newham’s artistic talent. Our cultural strategy will build on what we already have, nurturing and growing Newham’s creative and cultural talent and, increasingly, the opportunities available to all.”
Newham is at a critical creative and cultural point in its history. East Bank, the internationally recognised cultural centre, will be opening in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Park later this year, whilst music and dance organisations East London Dance and UD will officially open their new centre of excellence, The Talent House in Stratford, in early summer; this is a pioneering dance and music hub for artists, young people, local residents and the wider arts sector. Also, the council was recently successful in applying for £40m from the Levelling Up Fund. The Royal Docks Enterprise Zone already has its own ambitious programme for cultural placemaking. Together, these represent unprecedented opportunities to deliver cultural and creative opportunities for Newham and its people.
Tonya Nelson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England said: “One of our main ambitions in selecting Newham as a Priority Place is to increase the opportunity for more people to engage with, participate in and enjoy arts, culture and creativity. We welcome and value the launch of Newham’s cultural strategy, particularly because local residents played such an important role in its development, and look forward to working closely with them to help bring about more and exciting creative opportunities for everyone across the borough.”
Since 2012 there has been a 113 percent increase in the number of creative businesses operating in the borough. Following a comprehensive engagement with creative and cultural sectors, the council has established key principles which will support their inclusive growth under the principles of community wealth building.
Newham Council has expressed its gratitude to the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone for its continued support and sponsorship of the launch event.