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Peter Bazalgette and Quentin Blake among big names supporting Bexley’s Borough of Culture bid

PUBLISHED: 10:55 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:13 28 November 2017

Councillor Teresa O’Neill, leader of Bexley Council, and Councillor Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, hope to lead Bexley to London Borough of Culture victory. Picture: Bexley Council

Councillor Teresa O’Neill, leader of Bexley Council, and Councillor Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, hope to lead Bexley to London Borough of Culture victory. Picture: Bexley Council

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ITV’s chairman has given his backing to Bexley’s London Borough of Culture bid.

Sir Peter Bazalgette delivered a message of support via video at a business and key stakeholder event held at Hall Place last week.

The former chairman of Arts Council England – and lead on the independent review for the government into Creative Industries – spoke of the power of culture in bringing communities together, building education and skills and supporting the economy.

He also noted the advantages Bexley will reap from the Thames Estuary Cultural Production Corridor.

“I am extremely grateful to Sir Peter for his strong endorsement of our bid,” said Councillor Teresa O’Neill, leader of Bexley Council.

“He has strong historical family links with the borough and, as his speech illustrated, like us he has an obvious belief in Bexley as London Borough of Culture.”

Other big names to have pledged their support include famous illustrator Sir Quentin Blake and Ajay Chhabra, cultural advisor to the Mayor of London and artistic director of Nutkhut and the London Mela.

“With such cultural heavyweights in our corner we can’t help but feel optimistic!” added Councillor O’Neill.

Key partners attending the event included Peabody, Bow Arts, Wildworks, Bird College and Rose Bruford College.

If Bexley secures the accolade, it and another successful borough will each receive more than £1million from the Mayor of London, with one taking the title in 2019, and another in 2020.

“As a community in Bexley, we are immensely proud of our unique cultural gems and celebrate the borough’s legacies, from our splendid historic buildings of Danson House and Hall Place to our inspiring cultural icons, including Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Boy George and Kate Bush,” said Councillor Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure.

“Not only do we recognise Bexley’s rich history but we also appreciate our contemporary public art and performing arts traditions. The London Borough of Culture year will be our opportunity to share these fantastic assets with the rest of London and beyond.”

To find out how you can support the bid, visit bexleyculture.london and #backthebexleybid and @whatsoninbexley via Twitter.

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