London, 1 March 2018: London Bridge is set for an additional £100m spend by 2025 following the launch today of the first ever culture strategy for London Bridge backed by organisations including the Imperial War Museum, Tower Bridge, Greater London Authority and Southwark Council. The London Bridge Culture Strategy is expected to increase visitors to the area to 15m by 2025 and has been led by the Team London Bridge, the Business Improvement District [BID] representing over 400 businesses in north Southwark.

The new contemporary cultural programming will showcase London Bridge as a leading place for global commerce; a growing area for enterprise, culture and entertainment and home to a community of businesses ranging from multi-national companies, to art galleries. It will also seek to strengthen the area as a leading destination for inward investment with a strong cultural offering that will add value to their operations and boost employee satisfaction.

Visitors will be able to experience the new cultural hub with the launch of the Science Gallery London and return of the Southwark Playhouse. They will join the existing rich cultural tapestry and popular attractions comprising Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Shard and the Unicorn Theatre.

Through a culture programme balancing experiential changes in public spaces and a commitment to supporting culture and creative industries, London Bridge has today set forth a vision and approach that will inspire stakeholders to stay, invest and attract new businesses to the area.

The Culture Strategy was led by Team London Bridge and devised by Sherry Dobbin. A new culture programme will be developed by the newly appointed Arts Director Ellie Beedham and will reflect the important moments for London, through temporary artistic innovation of static and performing arts.

Stage one of this plan launched today at London Bridge Station – a creative intervention through performance art on the station concourse, as Yoko Ono’s IMAGINE PEACE was screened on the electric billboards, animated by a professional choir of one hundred singing John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Imagine under the musical and staging direction of conductor/artist Esmeralda Conde Ruiz.

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Mayor of London says of the cultural strategy launch: “Culture is an essential ingredient for our cities. As well as generating tourism and boosting the economy, culture brings us together and helps define the places we love. Having great transport and efficient roads alone isn’t enough - cities also need a soul, so threading culture through all aspects of city life is key. Team London Bridge’s culture strategy brings businesses and cultural organisations together, to make sure London Bridge thrives as a vital part of our capital.”

Yoko Ono says of the collaboration with Team London Bridge, “Art, music and words are a powerful combination that help us come together and IMAGINE PEACE at home and all over the world. I’m very pleased to be contributing the placement of art and culture into the heart of London Bridge. A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality. Imagine all the people living life in peace.” Yoko Ono

Daniel Glaser, Director, Science Gallery London at King’s College London, “When King’s College London opens Science Gallery London in 2018, it joins the likes of HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge and the Bridge Theatre in an area of existing rich cultural importance. The London Bridge Culture Strategy devised by Team London Bridge will ingrain the values and aspirations of this community into future plans, with the potential to capture the imagination of internationally acclaimed artists and scientists to showcase this unique area to the world.

Sherry Dobbin, cultural strategist for Team London Bridge, “The London Bridge Culture Strategy sets out a powerful vision for a Business Improvement District to nurture and co-create ambitious and diverse cultural programming. We invite the cultural sector to discover and animate London Bridge's array of ‘stages’ from iconic vistas of the city, green spaces to bridges, side streets and stations in unexpected ways through performances, installations and events.

Simon Howell, Chair, Team London Bridge, “Our mission is to fulfil London Bridge’s potential as a destination ‘to go to’ not to ‘go through’. Thousands of visitors from commuters to residents and tourists come to London Bridge everyday and our new culture programme will provide compelling and enticing reasons for them to visit and stay longer. London Bridge has the potential to become a welcoming destination for all visitors at all hours and help boost London’s economy to the tune of £100m by 2025.”

Ian Hanson, South East stations director, Network Rail, said: “The rebuilt London Bridge station with its huge new concourse and stunning architecture is fast-becoming a London icon. Throughout the reconstruction we worked closely with our partners including Team London Bridge to keep the local area open for business, so it’s great that we’re now working together to bring the station to life for passengers and visitors alike through this new culture strategy.”