Simons appointed London’s culture supremo
Justine Simons, 45, head of culture for London for 14 years under three mayors, has been appointed deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries by Sadiq Khan.
Over 20 years as an administrator and a practitioner Simons has been instrumental in establishing the Fourth Plinth on the Trafalgar Square as a contemporary art public showplace, helping to deliver the 2012 Cultural Olympics and setting up the World Cities Cultural Forum. Previously she was a producer and director of dance.
Her brief now will include film, music, video games, crafts and publishing, and she praised the mayor for making culture a priority. “It’s been my lifelong belief that creativity has the power to transform lives and places” she said. “Culture is part of London’s DNA. It’s a big reason so many of us choose to visit and live here, it generates billions for our economy and gives London its unique character and dynamism”.
But, said Khan, London’s preeminence as a global cultural centre is under threat as. “London’s rich creative scene is a major area of economic activity, boasting world-class talent and institutions, and is a vital ingredient in our city’s success. It is crucial that this vibrant sector continues to grow, and it is one of my core priorities to help it do so” he said.
"In the fallout from the EU referendum our city’s cultural well-being has ever been so important especially through its power to bring communities together, and to ensure our ongoing status as a globally attractive destination for business. Justine is a tour-de-force in London’s cultural scene, and she shares my passion to ensure culture is at the heart of city life.”