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Sadiq Khan: what new London mayor means for the arts

Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan
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Labour’s Sadiq Khan has won the race to become London’s new mayor.

In his manifesto for the election, he pledged a number of policies in relation to the arts, including a pass that would allow Londoners reduced prices for shows and concerts.

 Khan’s arts pledges at a glance

  • A cultural infrastructure plan to identify what needs to be done to sustain London’s future as a cultural capital
  • Creative Enterprise Zones providing dedicated spaces for artists to live and work in
  • Protection for venues threatened by new development
  • London Borough of Culture scheme, focusing on a different area of London each year
  • Love London pass, giving residents cheaper access to shows, galleries and museums

He highlighted how “too many Londoners don’t get to make the most of our city’s cultural assets”, and added that funding for the arts was being “increasingly stretched”.

Under a sub-section of his arts pledges, entitled Protecting and Promoting Our Cultural Riches, he said he wanted London to continue being the “world’s artistic and cultural capital”.

To aid this, he said he would develop an infrastructure plan to find out what the capital needs to sustain this position, and set up Creative Enterprise Zones, where he said artists would be able to work and live.

He also vowed to protect small venues from the threat of development. Writing in The Stage last month, he said he would “protect smaller theatres from being closed down because of noise complaints when new residential units are built near them”.

Under a section called Access to the Arts, he said all Londoners should benefit from the arts scene in London, and said he would create a London Borough of Culture initiative, which he said would see a different London borough become the focus of a celebration of arts and culture in the city.

The Love London pass he is planning would offer discounts to residents.

He told The Stage the pass would become “easily recognisable across London and would unlock savings, discounts and special offers in shows, museums, galleries, exhibitions and concerts”.

Khan received 1, 310,143 votes to Zac Goldsmith’s 994,614.

Welcoming the new mayor, Creative Industries Federation chief executive John Kampfner said: “We look forward to working closely with Sadiq who showed his interest and concern for the arts and creative industries when he spoke to our members earlier in the campaign. The arts and creative industries are central to the life of London and an important and fast-growing part of the city’s economy, so it is vital that the new mayor takes a lead in supporting our amazing sector to further growth and success.”


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