The annual London Borough of Culture award is coming to the birthplace of grime superstar Stormzy in 2023.
Croydon was named by mayor of London Sadiq Khan as the London Borough of Culture for 2023 today, while Lewisham got the nod for 2021.
The South London boroughs will each receive £1.35m to organise year-long programmes of cultural activities.
Lewisham’s bid, called Cultural Activism, revolved around a series of events aimed at tackling climate change at a grassroots level.
This will include a “climate change carnival”, concert and a large-scale dance performance.
Lewisham mayor Damien Egan said: “Our year will showcase what Lewisham has to offer the rest of London and the UK by harnessing the passion and creativity of our cultural sector and the people of Lewisham.”
Croydon, meanwhile, will hold events around the themes of “progress, nature, inclusion and growth”, which will include a music festival, art commissions and a fashion show.
The borough has become well-known in recent times for being where grime artist Stormzy grew up.
Croydon Council leader Tony Newman said 2023 would be a “celebration of our town’s wonderful diversity”.
“From Stormzy to our very own Shaniqua, Croydon is the home of talent, with a rich musical heritage as the birthplace of punk, grime and more, with an exciting future ahead,” he said.
The London Borough of Culture award was created in 2017 by Khan and was inspired by the European Capital of Culture initiative.
It was intended to encourage younger people to get involved with cultural activities across the capital.
Deputy mayor for culture and creative industries Justine Simmons OBE said: “We wanted to give grassroots creativity the chance to shine and show how culture can inspire and unleash the potential of young Londoners – and that’s exactly what happened.
“We’ve seen from their bids that Lewisham and Croydon are brimming with great ideas to build on this success, and their amazing events will shine a spotlight on the rich culture, heritage and hidden gems in their boroughs.”