C’mon do the Conga – Barking and Dagenham launch bid in unique fashion

Barking and Dagenham launched their bid to become the London Borough of Culture in dramatic fashion with a special ‘conga’ dance through Barking town centre.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has challenged all 32 London boroughs to show why they should be awarded £1.1million to bring resources to community-led organisations who have been working with limited funds.

Barking and Dagenham are certainly proud of the strong cultural traditions that take place and were determined to show why they are different to other boroughs with a special launch party.

It was a carnival atmosphere as children from several local schools and colleges, dance students, art groups, music classes and local residents made it an afternoon to remember.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council played an instrumental role in bringing the community together and getting over 150 people to mark the launch in unique fashion with a huge conga dance.

Councillor Rodwell said: “We wanted our bid to stand out and we certainly managed to achieve that. This bid is not done by people sitting in council offices, it is about people on the ground.


‘Who would have thought we could get over 150 people to do the conga. That can only happen in Barking and Dagenham’


“Who would have thought we could get over 150 people to do the conga. That can only happen in Barking and Dagenham and we have a real community spirit.

“Culture is about community and we have got great people. We have led the country for thousands of years and we are proud of what we have achieved.

“Without Bobby Moore and Sir Alf Ramsey we would not have won the World Cup. If we can do that, we can do anything, and I am thrilled with what people want to do here.

“We have some of the toughest challenges, but we are the biggest borough when it comes to promoting what culture is all about. We are investing in people and we deserve to win this bid.”

Liza Vallance, Artistic Director/CEO for Studio 3 Arts, added: “I work in Barking and Dagenham and am moving my entire family here because this is such a special place.

“There is a real micro-climate that goes on in the area and I have not seen another place like this in London.”

The bid will now be submitted by December 1 and Barking and Dagenham will continue to promote the strong cultural activities that take place throughout the borough.