Making the most of arts, culture and creativity

There are few places on earth that can rival our city for its arts and culture. Growing up, the bright lights of the West End were always something special, while visits to the many amazing museums and galleries were great adventures. Of course, London’s cultural hotspots extend way beyond the centre.

We are blessed with local museums, sporting venues, theatres and tourist attractions across all parts of our city. I’m enormously proud of what London has to offer. Our arts and culture help make London an amazing city to live in, and are a big draw to people from all over the world – both tourists and those looking to the city to work and set up businesses.

But I know London’s artistic, cultural and creative life faces some real challenges. Too many Londoners don’t get to make the most of our city’s cultural assets. Funding for London’s arts is increasingly stretched. In the last decade, London has lost around 185 live music venues, and the unique character of areas such as Soho is under threat from soaring rents. The rising cost of living and surging
property prices have led to the loss of artist studios and small business start-up space while our city’s creative
workforce is being driven out, often to cheaper cities across Britain and Europe.

Protecting and promoting our cultural riches

I want London to continue being the world’s artistic and cultural capital - so I’ll make sure the city’s fashion, design and creative sectors are given the support they need. I’ll build on the success of the Olympics and attract more global events to the city. And I’ll support and protect London’s workspaces and venues threatened by encroaching development. I will:

  • Produce a Cultural Infrastructure Plan for 2030 to identify what we need in order to sustain London’s future as a cultural capital.

  • Build on London’s vital tourist industry by promoting the city’s cultural riches – our fashion, music, design, film, art and architecture – to Londoners, the rest of Britain and the world, taking forward the work of London & Partners in this area.

  • Set up Creative Enterprise Zones, providing dedicated small workspace with live-in space so that creative industries, artists and the fashion industry are given extra support to flourish.

  • Strengthening planning protections for small industrial and creative workspaces, and for London’s iconic pubs. 

  • Protect London’s live music venues, clubs and pubs by introducing an “Agent for Change” rule so new developments next to existing venues meet soundproofing costs.

  • Work with boroughs to promote and protect London’s libraries, community centres, and suburban arts venues. 

Access to the arts

I’m also determined that all Londoners should benefit from the city’s fantastic arts and culture. I will:

  • Establish a London Borough of Culture, like the European City of Culture, so that every year a different borough is the focus of a celebration of the city’s arts and culture.

  • Continue to back major cultural festivals to celebrate London’s religious and racial diversity, and ensure Pride continues to be a fantastic, community-led showcase of all of London’s LGBT+ communities.

  • Support London’s theatres, galleries and museums to open up access for all Londoners, and to spread their activity and presence across the city.

  • Create a Love London Pass, giving Londoners discounts and reductions across the city to exhibitions, galleries, restaurants, shows and concerts.

  • Appoint a ‘Night Czar’ to champion London’s vibrant night-time economy.

Building on our sporting success

London is a sporting city, and I’ll ensure that while retaining our global status as a venue for professional sporting competition, we do all we can as a city to enable and encourage more people to participate and compete at every level. I will:  

  • Use the London Plan to protect playing fields.

  • Work with London’s football and other major sports clubs to support and expand their vast capacity for making a positive impact in the community, especially with young people.

  • Work to bring a NFL franchise to London.

  • Build on the city’s success in hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by bidding for similar global sporting, cultural and artistic events to come to London, in particular bringing the Tour de France back to London.

  • Rebuild our Olympic Legacy, turning around the failure of the last four years, promoting  and supporting sport for more people of all ages.

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