London mayor announces new ambassadors for culture

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has appointed a new cultural leadership board to ‘guide his vision for culture in the capital’.

Drawn from design, events, cultural tourism, urban development, planning, film, theatre and heritage sectors, the board members will advise the mayor on issues facing the creative industries and culture sector.

Khan said: “From the outset of my mayoralty, I made it clear that culture and the creative industries was one of my core priorities, which is why I’m delighted to announce the formation of my new cultural leadership board.

“Their collective experience and passion will ensure that we are able to harness the power of culture and creativity to transform communities, drive our capital’s economy and maintain our pre-eminent position on the world stage.”

The board will be chaired by Ben Evans, director of London Design Festival and executive director of the London Design Biennale, two of the world’s leading design events.

Members of the board include Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, and Stuart Hobley, head of Heritage Lottery Fund for London.

Culture and the creative industries are worth £42 billion per year to London’s economy, provide one in six jobs and are the reason why four out of five tourists choose to visit the capital.

Khan has already committed to several significant initiatives, including the inaugural London Borough of Culture, the world’s first Cultural Infrastructure Plan and the establishment of new Creative Enterprise Zones.

He has appointed Amy Lamé as London’s first Night Czar, and pledged £70 million towards the relocation and expansion of the Museum of London to West Smithfield.

Deputy mayor for culture and creative industries, Justine Simons, said: “Culture is in London’s DNA. It’s the number-one reason people chose to visit and live in the capital.

“On any given day, you can take your pick from world-class free museums, inspiring gallery shows, gigs, festivals, fringe theatres, great clubs or rooftop cinemas.

“It’s hard to imagine London without culture, but there’s no denying we are facing some real challenges: the loss of venues and clubs and the high cost of creative workspace, while Brexit threatens to disrupt the vital flow of talent and trade with the EU.”