Thornton Heath’s arts vision is set to be the focus of a bid by the council to become London’s borough of culture in 2019.

Following on from the successful July Question Time during Thornton Heath Arts Week, organisers John Lawlor and Michael Balamwezi hosted an Arts Vision workshop at St Paul’s church.

The well attended event demonstrated there would be widespread interest in community arts initiatives from a diverse cross section of the CR7 population.

Paul Hudson, a consultant working on the council’s bid, attended the workshop and indicated that the Thornton Heath vision for arts would likely be used as a pilot for other areas of Croydon.

He previously raised over £500,000 for Brighton and Hove’s bid for the 2008 European Capital of Culture.

The capital’s 32 boroughs will bid for the financial boost, with one taking the title in 2019 and another in 2020.

The initiative launched by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan will see £2.8 million shared between the two winning bids.

An extra £600,000 will be made available for other boroughs who put forward impressive projects.

John and Michael said that the council has been very enthusiastic in its support for the development of the Arts Vision.

The pair added: “This is great news. Nevertheless there is much work to be done before the community’s arts vision can augment the council’s successful regeneration project to improve the experience of living in Thornton Heath locally, and improving its identity more widely.”

They explained that the purpose of the arts vision workshop was to create an opportunity for artists, community organisers and residents to come together in order to develop a local vision for the arts.

The workshop was also supported by members of Thornton Heath Arts Week (THAW) and Thornton Heath Community Action Team (THCAT), in addition to local councillors and council officers from the regeneration team in a positive example of partnership working at grassroots level.

Participants in the various sub groups within the workshop contributed ideas, expertise and suggestions that will go on to shape the community’s vision for the arts.

If you are interested in participating in or contributing to the project please contact Michael Balamwezi:

*OUR PICTURE shows local artists Well Versed