2023 has been a challenging one for many of our residents, but as we look forward to 2024 there is cause for optimism as the council looks to transform our borough through arts and creativity, highlighted by our recent bid to be crowned London’s Borough of Culture for 2027.

Haringey has always had a rebellious side, and our bid, 'Rebel Borough', focuses on our rich history of everyday rebels and radical activists, as well as our cultural diversity and the warm welcome our borough has provided to many communities from around the world, giving us global artistic connections and buzzing grassroots community culture, from music, dance and poetry to food, fashion and design.

This builds on the success of our Haringey Feast project, which brought together Haringey’s creators, cultural organisations and residents to celebrate everything creative our borough has to offer.

Ham & High: Haringey Council leader Peray Ahmet enjoys the borough's global artistic connectionsHaringey Council leader Peray Ahmet enjoys the borough's global artistic connections (Image: Haringey Council)

Through involving over 2,000 residents in creative workshops and culminating in a spectacular event at Alexandra Palace in November, the Haringey Feast put forward a vision for the impact that culture can have in our borough if we put arts and creativity at the centre of everything we do.

To achieve this we need visionary leadership, which is why earlier this year we were pleased to bring on board two heavy-hitters in the London cultural scene, Yamin Choudury and Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, as our new assistant directors for culture and creativity.

Yamin joins from the Hackney Empire Theatre where he served as Joint CEO and artistic director, while Kenneth pursued a 25-year career as a professional dance artist and has since gone on to be chief executive of The Place and, more recently, director of The Africa Centre in Southwark.

With their combined experience in the cultural sector, Yamin and Kenneth are bringing a fresh perspective and unique insight into how we as a local authority can support our creative industries.

We look forward to working with them and our residents to show the difference that the council can make when culture is viewed as more than just an afterthought.

I know times have been tough for many residents, but I hope that our community will come together and support everyone over the festive period. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and looking forward to a brighter future for Haringey in 2024.

  • Cllr Peray Ahmet is the leader of Haringey Council.