Throughout history, the City of London has been a place where commerce and creativity have thrived side by side. As well as being one of the world's oldest and most important trading hubs the Square Mile has fostered over centuries the long‐term growth of arts and crafts, learning, public entertainment, green spaces, marketplaces, fairs, and pageantry. Since the late twentieth century the City has become a world class centre for culture, with an extraordinary concentration of institutions like the Barbican, the Museum of London, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as a range of heritage assets, libraries, exciting outdoor events and cutting edge contemporary art programmes like Sculpture in the City.
Investing over £100m every year, the City of London Corporation is the fourth largest funder of culture in the UK. The City’s support for culture is intrinsic to its strategy because of the core belief that the free exchange of commerce is intertwined with the free exchange of creative ideas. The City has always been a unique meeting place in the world for entrepreneurs, ideas and talent. The City's support for culture also reflects a strong belief in a richer kind of wealth, which includes people's wellbeing, quality of life and sense of place and community. The City today has the most vibrant ecology of cultural organisations, creative businesses and practitioners anywhere in the UK.