City of London wins top slot in national heritage poll

The ‘Square Mile’ has been voted the best area in England for arts and culture, according to the 2016 RSA Heritage Index.

The City of London, the business district around St. Paul’s, beat two other local authorities in London – Kensington & Chelsea (second place) and Westminster (third place) to the top slot. Scarborough and West Somerset came fourth and fifth in the Index for England.

The poll by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce is produced in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund to reveal which areas are best at using heritage to foster a distinctive identity. The annual index combines over 120 metrics - from historic buildings to local delicacies – and also measures new forms of heritage activity, such as community initiatives and volunteering, to come up with its results.

Vivienne Littlechild, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to hear that the City of London has been given top place in the RSA Heritage Index for England and essentially, it confirms our firm belief that the Square Mile’s cultural hub is one of our greatest assets. From Guildhall Art Gallery and the Barbican Centre to the Museum of London and the Guildhall School, the City of London has now become a top visitor attraction for people who take their arts and culture seriously, as well as being a global business centre.”

After launching last year, the index has been adopted as an official performance measure by the government in the recent Culture White Paper.

The City of London Corporation invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Notes for Editors:

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as a world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in, and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation. These include the Barbican Centre, Barbican Music Library, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Guildhall Library, Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre, London Metropolitan Archives, a range of education provision (including three City Academies); five Thames bridges (including Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge), Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey, over 10,000 acres of open spaces (including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest), and three wholesale food markets. The City of London Corporation is London’s Port Health Authority and also runs the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. For more details, visit