Croydon has been named the London Borough of Culture in 2023, with plans underway for a celebration of the borough’s unique identity, diverse communities, rich heritage, culture and creativity.

With this, comes the launch of This is Croydon, showcasing the borough to the world.

This includes major events with international headliners performing alongside emerging home-grown talent.

There will also be hundreds of cultural activities from the community in Croydon.

Launched in 2017 by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the London Borough of Culture award aims to shine a light on the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and bring culture to everyone. 

Sadiq Khan said: “Culture has the power to transform communities and to bring people closer together.

“Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to reach out to our neighbours and celebrate London’s unique and diverse culture.

“London Borough of Culture is a great way to do just that whilst showing the world that our cultural gems extend way beyond the centre of the capital to all corners of the city.”

London boroughs submit bids to receive more than £1.35m in funding to create a year-long programme of activities that celebrates the unique character of local people and places.

There have been two rounds of London Borough of Culture so far.

In 2019, Waltham Forest was the first ever London Borough of Culture, and in 2020, Brent took the title.

Announced at the same time were six Cultural Impact Awards, which received over £1m in funding for transformative projects in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham and Merton.

Lewisham is the London Borough of Culture for 2022, Croydon takes the title in 2023, and Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey and Sutton have Cultural Impact Award projects taking place in 2022 – 2024.

London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative, which has received additional funding and support from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Airbnb.

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries: “Culture is in our DNA. It’s on every doorstep and around every corner, and we wanted London Borough of Culture to celebrate this.

“We wanted to give grassroots creativity the chance to shine and show how culture can inspire and unleash the potential of young Londoners – and that’s exactly what happened.”

This comes at a time of need for Croydon, after recently being named the 19th worst place to live in a 2023 survey by the satirical website ILiveHere.

However, Your Local Guardian readers stood up for their borough and voiced some of their favourite things about living here.

One reader said: “Croydon is one of the greenest boroughs in London, it has some great pubs/bars/restaurants, but the best thing about Croydon is the people who live here.

“The ones who are working really hard to make it better.”

Another added: “Stormzy & Cat Burns - performing at The BRITs.

“Huge successful global artists from Croydon and The Brit School.”