Published: Friday, 1st December 2017

Royal Borough of Greenwich has delivered its bid to be the first London Borough of Culture.

To mark the bid submission on Friday 1 December, a special 'Breakfast by Moonlight' event took place at the historic Royal Arsenal buildings in Woolwich.

'Museum of the Moon’, a stunning seven metre lunar installation created using Nasa imagery by British artist Luke Jerram which has wowed audiences around the world, was centrepiece of the launch.

The London Borough of Culture initiative was launched by London Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this year and today is the deadline for borough submissions.

Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Wellbeing, hosted today’s event alongside the internationally renowned Greenwich+Docklands Festivals, which developed the bid with the Council.

Cllr Scott-McDonald said: "Our borough is so rich in creativity and history and we believe we would be a perfect choice to be the first London Borough of Culture. Today is only the start of our bid. Over the next two months we will be showcasing the full wealth of talent Royal Greenwich has to offer."

Bradley Hemmings, Artistic Director of Greenwich+Docklands Festival, said: "We are delighted to develop this bid on behalf of Royal Greenwich. Because of our long association with arts, performance and culture in the borough we know that Royal Greenwich would be the perfect inaugural London Borough of Culture."

The event was a chance to say thank you to the cultural organisations, community groups and artists and Greenwich Leisure, which runs the borough’s libraries, who all helped shape the Royal Greenwich bid.

Ajay Chhabra, co-artistic director of Nutkhut, a not-for-profit performing arts company, based in Charlton, said: "I think the key to this initiative is to illuminate the parts of the borough hidden and almost considered non cultural places but which are actually really rich in culture. We are looking to shine a light into those corners of the borough."

Tyronne Buddy-Lee Ike Hill a.k.a. Kid Bookie, a rapper-musician from Woolwich, was another local talent supporting the bid. 

Kid Bookie said: "This is such a big borough with a lot of different cultures. It's a real melting pot and there's no place like it. I travel a lot but as soon as I get off the train at Woolwich Arsenal I know I'm home. This culture bid aims to be a medium of change in this area and I want to help in that."

The Council also officially launched the Greenwich Culture Forum, which will help shape future collaborations and cultural plans in the Royal Borough.

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: "Maritime Greenwich is world renowned but our London Borough of Culture bid is an amazing chance to let lesser known parts of the borough really make a name for themselves in terms of culture."

Royal Greenwich's bid is backed by a host of local celebrities, including Squeeze singer Glen Tilbrook and rapper Tinie Tempah.

In February 2018 two winning boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture, one in 2019 and one in 2020. 

Support the bid

Residents and supporters can tweet their backing for Royal Greenwich using #GreenwichMeans and #MyLocalCulture

'Museum of the Moon' is open to the public Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December between 3pm and 10pm in Building 17 (former Firepower Museum), Royal Arsenal Woolwich, SE18. Admission free.