Croydon has received a “big, bold and cross-cultural programme” for 2023 as named the London Borough of Culture, and everyone is welcome to attend an exciting event.

On Tuesday (March 14), Croydon has unveiled highlights of the striking and surprising projects that are going to showcase the very best of Croydon’s diverse and dynamic home-grown talent in its year as The Mayor of London’s London Borough of Culture.

The ‘This is Croydon’ event will see a range of activities and events opens on April 1, 2023, and will offer excellence through multiple art forms - from classical music to hip-hop, from dance to spoken word, from original stage productions to street festivals, to which everyone, and every Londoner, is invited.

The schedule includes:

• Oratorio of Hope: A brand-new commission led by London Mozart Players and Grammy nominated and Croydon educated Tarik O’Regan showcasing the very best of Croydon’s young talent through music.

• Music Heritage Trail and exhibition which has been funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

• The first ever play about Croydon’s pioneering Black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

• Pollock’s Toy Museum popping up in the Whitgift Centre after being forced to close earlier this year

• Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, returning to the UK for the first time in 20 years for a special concert

• Liberty Festival in September which kicks off a season of cutting-edge events and new work led by and with D/deaf and disabled people including SoDaDa’s cabaret; ZooCo’s The Nightshift; and Savvy Theatre’s Stepping Stones performance

In the borough that spawned the likes of grime legend Stormzy and Mercury and BRIT nominated star Loyle Carner - Croydon will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop with a range of events.

Your Local Guardian: Lia Toby/PAWIRE/PALia Toby/PAWIRE/PA (Image: Lia Toby/PAWIRE/PA)

This is Croydon is being delivered through a unique collaboration between the cultural organisations and people of the borough in partnership with Croydon Council.

The London Borough of Culture programme is a flagship cultural policy from the Mayor of London and is supported with further funds from Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Croydon has a rich history of creativity, diversity and talent, and I’m delighted that this will be reflected through a huge range of inspiring art and performances in their year-long programme as my London Borough of Culture.

“This is Croydon will be a spectacular celebration of the borough’s unique identity, heritage and character, bringing together communities and giving grassroots creativity the chance to shine.

“It will be a fantastic example of how culture can inspire and unleash the potential of the next generation as we build a better London for everyone.”

Your Local Guardian: Lia Toby/PA Wire/PALia Toby/PA Wire/PA (Image: Lia Toby/PA Wire/PA)

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: “Croydon is home to so many fantastic communities and our year as London Borough of Culture is a chance to celebrate and showcase what makes our borough so special - our people.

“This is Croydon is unique in that it is truly community-led, developed by our amazing local cultural organisations working in partnership with the council, creating opportunities for residents of all ages, from our borough and beyond. We look forward to welcoming you to Croydon.”

Caterina Loriggio, Creative Consultant, Croydon London Borough of Culture, said: “This is Croydon is going to be a year we can all be proud of.

“We hope the year of culture will not just inspire, excite, and engage, but also enable change. Croydon has always had our eye on the future and the London Borough of Culture is just the start of the next leg of that journey.

“Come with us. You are welcome.”

Stuart McLeod, Director England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are thrilled to support this year’s London Borough of Culture.

"Thanks to National Lottery players, we have funded three projects in the programme, bringing to life the incredible heritage on offer in Croydon and giving people a chance to learn more about what’s on their doorstep.

“Heritage is a great way of bringing people together, creating a sense of pride in the community, that in turn can deliver wider economic benefits for Croydon.”