Lewisham has received a big financial boost after winning a cultural impact award from the Mayor for a festival for the borough’s oldest residents.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan handed the south east London borough the award thanks to its ground-breaking Festival of Creative Ageing.

The unique festival is specifically aimed at the older population and giving them a chance to take an active part in civic life, with the main target being deprived wards where life expectancy is the lowest.

It includes film screenings at the Broadway Theatre and Beckenham Place Mansion, various international conferences and pop-up choirs with acts from the UK, Europe, America, Australia and Japan.

With the pensioners working in tandem with festival staff to organise the festival, the centrepiece will be a 48-hour immersive theatre performance called The Home co-devised with people from Beckenham Place Mansion.

The award winners were announced today (February 27), with Waltham Forest and Brent being the London Borough of Culture in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Mayor Khan awarded Lewisham £216,000 as part of the award to help fund the festival.

Cllr Chris Best, cabinet member for health, wellbeing and older people, said: “Culture is everywhere in Lewisham, from the brilliant Broadway Theatre to the amazing Albany theatre to our annual summer festival, People’s Day.

“The Mayor’s funding will give thousands of people in Lewisham the chance to take part in cutting edge arts and culture on their doorstep.

“Congratulations to the 2019/20 boroughs of culture, Waltham Forest and Brent. We can’t wait to work with them to make 2019 and 2020 an unforgettable experience.”

Mayor Khan said: “When I have been out and about in recent months around London, I’ve picked up a real buzz about the London Borough of Culture, with different parts of the city vying to win this prestigious title.

“We’ve seen in the bids that have been submitted the brilliant ambition of boroughs across our city to deliver real change in their local areas through the transformative power of culture.”