Call to action! Time to celebrate 50 years of London boroughs

Formed on 1 April 1965 – alongside the name ‘Greater London’ by the London Government Act 1963 – the 12 inner London boroughs and 20 outer London boroughs were formed and now shape the way we live today.

To mark the anniversary and throughout 2015, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is partnering with London Councils to offer grants of up to £100,000 for projects exploring any aspect of a borough’s history.

Barking & Dagenham is the first London Borough to be awarded a grant – with their photographic archives project 50 years a London Borough, which has been announced this week.

Now, HLF and London Councils are calling for other boroughs to come forward and tell their own unique stories to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Borough.

There will be an opportunity to explore and reflect on the impact of the new structure on local communities and how 50 years of London’s local councils have influenced our lives – by shaping our local neighbourhoods, improving social housing and local transport, delivering public health services, and supporting our children’s education.

Sue Bowers, Head of HLF London said: “1 April 2015 represents a key milestone in London’s history – the creation of the 32 boroughs we know today. We are looking forward to hearing from more community groups and organisations across the city to uncover what we are sure will be the many stories of London life over the past 50 years.”

Mayor Jules Pipe, Chair of London Councils, said: “This is a unique opportunity to celebrate life in our local areas over the past 50 years. We are very pleased that HLF is supporting these projects and I urge individuals and groups planning a project to take advantage of this support.”

Funding is available from £3,000 to £100,000 under HLF’s Sharing Heritage, Our Heritage and Young Roots grants programmes and local authorities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply for projects that create opportunities for people to get involved in exploring and enjoying the heritage of their London borough over the past 50 years. Topics could explore any aspect of history linked to London boroughs including the histories of places, buildings, events, people and communities, people’s memories as well as cultural traditions.

If you are interested in finding out more about applying for a grant please contact Michael Murray, London Development Manager via email.

For more information about the 50th Anniversary of the London boroughs visit the Happy Birthday London Boroughs blog written by Cathy Ross from the Museum of London or get involved on Twitter using #boroughs50

Notes to editors

London Councils is a cross-party organisation representing London's 32 borough councils and the City of London. For more information visit the London Councils website

Further information

Vicky Wilford, HLF Press Office, on tel: 020 7591 6046 / 07973 401937 and email:; or Phil Cooper on tel: 07889 949173
Jim Ranger, London Councils, on tel:020 7934 9970, or email:

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