Barnet has drafted in a top designer in an ambitious bid to be named London Borough of Culture – but wants the public to join in too.

The council has hired Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway to help Barnet win “the London borough of culture” by 2027.

The move to be the cultural hotspot in five years’ time is being made with an appeal for Barnet people to come up with ideas for a 12-month programme of events in 2027.


The ideas will be turned into a 'cultural canvas' to catch the eye of the Greater London Authority (GLA) panel that awards Borough of Culture status.

The local authority has asked Hemingway’s design agency to “submit a winning bid” to a panel of judges at the GLA.

“We have hidden gems that we are rightly proud of,” council leader Barry Rawlings claims. “Now we want ideas to show the world what we have to offer.

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“Let’s celebrate our diverse voices and cultures and create something amazing together. Join our Cultural Canvas Movement and back our bid. We can’t wait to show London and the world what we have to offer.”

To add your ideas to Barnet's cultural canvas', visit

The council sees the bid as more than just investing in creative industries, but boosting the local economy and social cohesion.

If successful, the council would receive £1.35 million in funding from the GLA – a sum which would be matched by the council and through potential business partnerships and sponsorship.

The aim to become the London Borough of Culture 2027 is part of the council’s long-term plan to establish Barnet as a borough of fun, with a thriving creative sector that puts it on London’s cultural map.

Cllr Ammar Naqvi cabinet member for culture, leisure, arts and sport, added: “Cultivating culture and arts in our borough is more than just an investment in creativity – it’s an investment in our communities and the local economy.

“Promoting and celebrating arts not only enhances our wellbeing but also strengthens social cohesion and fosters a vibrant, inclusive, and thriving borough for all.”