Cultural services

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London Councils works across cultural services in local government including the arts, museums, libraries, archives, heritage and events, to support local service delivery, and its important contribution to London's vibrant cultural life.

Culture brings people together and has a significant impact on our quality of life. It plays a vital role in the social, economic, environmental, physical and mental wellbeing of our communities. Culture is also a major force behind London's status as a world-class, vibrant and diverse city. It attracts visitors to London and is a key reason why people want to live and work in the city.

London boroughs are vital to the delivery of culture in London as:

  • major funders of cultural venues and activity
  • delivery agents for a huge variety of event programmes
  • strategic brokers working with networks of partners at the hear of their communities.

Our partners

As well as working with borough councillors and officers to improve cultural services across London, London Councils also works with a number of external partners to promote and develop culture in London, including:

We represent the views of the boroughs on the Mayor's London Cultural Strategy Working Group and the Arts Council's London Area Council.

Our work

These are challenging times for borough cultural services, but there are also opportunities for culture and leisure services to make a significant contribution to improving social and economic outcomes across a range of areas. As local government becomes increasingly outcomes focussed, there is an opportunity for culture and leisure services within London boroughs to demonstrate the impact that they can have on economic and social objectives across different council services and organisations.   

To assist with this, London Councils has conducted an audit of existing evidence and developed a database of resources that borough culture and leisure officers can use to identify need in a number of social and economic areas, find evidence of the impact that culture and leisure interventions can have on these areas of need, and build a case for funding culture and leisure interventions to support improved social and economic outcomes.

London Councils has also conducted research into the different ways that London local government is supporting arts and culture, beyond direct grant giving. An overview of the findings from this research identifies policy support, in-kind support and cross-departmental projects with a range of service areas including planning, regeneration, public health and children's services.