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New studies on busking and public funding impact added to Mayor’s cultural strategy for London

Boris Johnson
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The Mayor of London has unveiled his updated cultural strategy for the capital, which includes commissioning studies on the impact of public investment for culture, and how to better support busking.

In his revised version of Cultural Metropolis – the original cultural strategy published in 2010 – Boris Johnson has committed to a “comprehensive study” of public funding for culture.

The document said that smaller arts organisations in the capital faced “very challenging” circumstances due to their reliance on local borough funding.

It added that the Mayor would “continue to advocate strongly that public investment in culture is essential” and that the arts are as important to London and the UK as the finance and trade sectors.

Meanwhile, he will also launch a feasibility study looking into the creation of a new London-wide approach that uses digital technology to support and manage live music performance in public spaces.

The report said: “Some of our greatest musicians have started out busking on London’s streets. However London now lags behind other world cities in its support for live music in public spaces.”

It added that performers are often deterred from busking because of the varying sets of rules across the capital.

Also revealed in the strategy are plans to create a new working space for Wayne McGregor’s dance company Random Dance at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.

It is hoped the project, called Random Spaces, will create a permanent home for the company, bringing together all parts of the organisation for the first time including its artistic, research and management strands.

This forms part of the Mayor’s vision to see the Stratford site turned into an arts and culture hub. It is hoped that the Victoria and Albert museum and University College London will also develop plans for new buildings at the Olympic Park.

Dennis Hone, chief executive of London Legacy Development Corporation which runs the Olympic park site, said: “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is set to become one of the capital’s newest and most exciting cultural beacons. It will offer something for everyone with some of the world’s leading museums, universities and theatres set to take up residence to add to the wonderful array of local artists already providing a rich diet of events and activities in and around the park.”


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