London Mayor Sadiq Khan has named Justine Simons OBE as his deputy mayor for culture and creative industries.
Currently City Hall’s head of culture, Simons has worked in senior positions in London’s cultural sector for over 20 years, including delivering major initiatives such as the 2012 Olympic Festival and the Fourth Plinth Commission.
In her new role she will be responsible for delivering the mayor’s manifesto pledge to support London’s arts, culture and creative industries and to champion its night-time economy.
Announcing her appointment, Mayor Khan said: “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.
“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.”
Simons commented: “The Mayor has done something unprecedented for a global city – he has made culture a top priority and his goal is to embed it in regeneration, planning and infrastructure.
“It is now more urgent than ever to unlock the potential of culture to build bridges and bring people and communities together.
“We must maintain the flow of ideas and creative talent and shore up our cultural economy. So I am thrilled to be given this chance to deliver Sadiq’s ambitious cultural vision and secure London’s future as a global role model.”