We’re listening

By Sandra Bruce-Gordon, #backthebexleybid team

Colourful image of masks

Masks by Segun Oratokhai

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since the public launch of our bid.  Not only have we been analysing all the comments that came in, but we’ve also looked at all the information that was given to us by participants at our partner and stakeholder workshops.

The London Borough of Culture is all about people and places. The winning boroughs will be chosen based on their artistic vision and ambition to deliver outstanding cultural initiatives in their local area, putting communities at the centre of their programme design and delivery.

Your support is helping us to shape our bid. We want to ensure that it is truly representative of your ambitions for culture in the future, while celebrating what Bexley already has and building upon it to give you the outcomes you want.

I’ve been talking to our community culture ‘champions’. I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to those who have offered help to embed the community vision into our bid, not only by providing information but committing to taking part in this exciting journey and working in partnership to regenerate the borough through culture.

Thanks also to Centrepieces and Christie who led a special workshop ‘Naming on stones’ – part of the Never Forget sculpture – at our public launch. This involved putting the names of all the local veterans who died in World War 1 onto stones, which will form part of the Centrepieces’ Art in Hall Gardens sculpture to be installed in November.

It was fantastic and I hope it helped raised awareness of the charity’s work, which is captured on its website.

We look forward to working in partnership with Centrepieces and supporting them in their development.


Bexley’s bid for London Borough of Culture launched!

Hall Place was buzzing on Sunday 1 October with visitors young and old keen to show their support for Bexley’s bid to become London Borough of Culture.

Music from Bird College, stilt walkers, juggling skills, free face painting, a giant colourful 3D piece of pavement art and much more, marked the launch of the bid that puts Bexley in the running for more than £1 million for local creative projects and programmes – which would make a huge difference to people locally, as well as putting the borough in the national and international cultural spotlight.

You can view a short video filmed at the launch produced by Update News here.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure, Cllr Peter Craske said; “I would like to thank everyone that came along to find out more about our bid. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of public support for Bexley to become the London Borough of Culture.

“I spoke to lots of people throughout the day about the bid and had nothing but positive comments. It showed what an amazing sense of pride local people have in our borough. We have so much on offer in Bexley and winning this bid would help us to highlight some of our amazing existing culture as well as nurturing new projects. Winning this accolade would be fantastic for our brilliant borough.”

The Mayor of London announced the London Borough of Culture programme earlier this year. The two winning boroughs will each receive more than £1 million to shine a spotlight on what makes them special and unique, using creativity and the arts to celebrate their distinctive character.

How you can show your support for Bexley’s bid

1. Add your comments to the articles on this website.
2. Email us at to share your ideas and aspirations.
3. Follow @LBofBexley on Twitter, share the hashtag #backthebexleybid, and follow the Mayor’s programme using the hashtag #mylocalculture
4. Vote for Bexley in the ITN poll on the ITV website.


Sponsorship opportunities

If Bexley become London Borough of Culture, the spotlight will be shining on the Borough for the year with local, national and international press interest.

City Hall and our exciting and innovative programme will ensure this happens. We will welcome the rest of London – and beyond- to Bexley.

Think what this exposure would do for your business!

We are keen to provide bespoke packages, designed exclusively for you for whatever outcome you want to achieve.

There  will be a wide range of sponsorship opportunities available –

Hosting an artist in the workplace
Commissioning artworks
Sponsoring a programming strand, for example, the education programme or carnival celebrations
Sponsorship of a key event
Sponsorship of the ‘what’s on programme’
Providing sponsorship ‘in kind’

Any investment will be an investment in the local community and help you to reach potential new customers whilst being a positive reinforcement of your brand.

If you are interested, please contact us now at


About the bid

The London Borough of Culture initiative was launched by the Mayor of London in June 2017.

The winning borough will not only receive the accolade of being recognised as the London Borough of Culture but also £1 million to spend on local cultural activities.

We want Bexley to win and we need your help to make this happen!

We want to capture your ideas, engage your imagination and support your dreams to make Bexley the London Borough of Culture.

Our local community is key to the Bexley bid. The London Borough of Culture must have local people at its heart. This is why we need your help to create a programme that will embrace culture in its widest sense – using music, dance, art, theatre, photography and the performing arts to celebrate all that is great about Bexley.

We also want to use this opportunity to tell everyone about Bexley’s rich cultural heritage and how it can evolve. From the Red House to Crossness, Lesnes Abbey to the Cob, music, dance and drama at Bird College and Rose Bruford and the many local community art, drama, craft and music groups that we know of – we know we have an exciting story to tell.

In February 2018, two winning boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture, with one taking up the title in 2019 and the other in 2020.

The bidding deadline is 1 December, so don’t delay –  please show your support and get involved today!

Email us at


Can you help?

Bexley’s voluntary and community sector is one of our greatest assets. The contribution made by voluntary organisations and their supporters make a massive difference to our quality of life. They have a key role to play in helping local residents to live long, fulfilling and healthy lives in a supportive community.

If Bexley’s bid to become London Borough of Culture is successful, we will be looking for volunteers to join us in the year of celebration and help us to deliver our programme.

If you love culture and the arts, like to work in a team and are prepared to sign up to an agreed commitment, there will be plenty of opportunities.

We will be looking for volunteers to help with –

  • Event management
  • Stewarding; site logistics; operations
  • Meeting and greeting
  • Looking after visitors and artists by providing guidance and assistance
  • Marketing and PR
  • Answering enquiries, maintaining databases and general administration

We will also offer apprenticeships funded from the award.

Interested? Email us at

All opportunities are subject to interview and competitive selection.

Get involved

Launch event – Sunday 1 October

Hall Place

Hall Place Bexley

This Sunday we are holding a very special event to launch the borough’s bid to be one of the first London Boroughs of Culture.

The launch will take place from 10am to 3pm in and around the visitor centre at Hall Place & Gardens in Bourne Road, Bexley.

It will be an opportunity to come and find out how you can ‘back the Bexley bid’ and share your ideas about what you would like to see if Bexley is the winning borough in 2019 or 2020. It will feature pop-up performances and an amazing 3D live street art installation by Urban Canvas.

The London Borough of Culture initiative is an invitation from the Mayor of London to London’s Boroughs to channel the creative energy and imagination of their communities into winning more than £1 million to support cultural activities. Bids must be submitted by 1 December.

“Culture has the power to change lives and improve our Borough,” said Cllr Peter Craske, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure. “From historic homes and monuments to theatres and arts groups, we are so lucky to have so many cultural sites and activities right on our doorstep. We want to showcase all we have to the whole of London and beyond by becoming the Borough for Culture.

“We’ve been working hard over the summer to prepare for this, and now we want Bexley’s residents and businesses to join with us to back Bexley’s bid. Together we can make Bexley London’s Borough of Culture!”

The two winning boroughs will each receive more than £1 million from the Mayor of London to shine a spotlight on what makes them special and unique, using creativity and the arts to celebrate their distinctive character. It will put cultural and arts programmes at the heart of place-making, support the development of more cohesive communities and create a lasting legacy. It will also provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the creativity of local people.




What makes Bexley so special?

By Cllr Peter Craske, Cabinet member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure, London Borough of Bexley

#backthebexleybid logo

In July I took on a challenge – to visit as many of our great cultural sites as possible in one day.

Over eight hours we criss-crossed the Borough and visited 14 places, from public art in Crayford to the history of the Red House, via sports facilities of the highest quality, ending our day at Hall Place.

And we could do the same again and visit completely different places.

It is easy to take for granted all the great things we have here, on our doorstep. Spending a day travelling round seeing it all really reminded me how lucky we are and showed me that we all need to take a moment and look at what we have here to see.

Right here, we have Lesnes Abbey, built in 1187, on land that dates back 65 million years; Danson House, renovated and then re-opened by Her Majesty The Queen right in the middle of one of London’s greatest parks. And if sewage is your thing, and even if it isn’t, right by the river Thames is Crossness Engines, an outstanding piece of Victorian engineering.

It’s not just about buildings, it’s also about people. We have, with Rose Bruford and Bird College, two of the country’s leading theatre and performing arts centres, powerhouses of talent nurturing movie stars and dancers.

And it’s about celebrating our past – just a century ago, the first aeroplane to cross the Atlantic was built in Crayford, at the Vickers factory opposite where our library is now.

That’s why we want to be London Borough of Culture – to celebrate all these great places together, and tell everyone across London, and the country that Bexley is not just one of the greatest place to live in the UK, it is one of the greatest places to visit.