Merton has beaten off tough competition from across London to secure London Borough of Culture funding and transform Merton’s film offer in 2019.

The council was allocated £40,000 from the Mayor’s Cultural Impact Award as part of the Borough of Culture announcement.

While Waltham Forest and Brent were named the boroughs of culture for 2019 and 2020, six other boroughs - including Merton - benefitted from Culture Impact Award funding.

The council's successful bid focused on bringing film to the whole of Merton, creating spaces for pop-up cinemas across the borough.

Councillor Nick Draper, Merton Council's cabinet member for community and culture said: “Merton has a wealth of creative talent from all over the world, this is the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together from across the borough to celebrate our unique heritage and rich cultural life.

“We are grateful to the Mayor of London for selecting Merton for our exciting and progressive proposals which will have a lasting impact for families throughout the Borough.”

Part of Merton’s bid is an augmented reality matrix which will be embedded across Merton as well as an exciting virtual reality festival.

The judges were impressed with the calibre of Merton’s bid which included 25 community commissions, business development initiatives and a film festival.