Most Londoners have not heard of the London Borough of Culture, and even when they have are not likely visit it to see events.

Waltham Forest was the first borough to win the honour, beating 22 councils to be selected for this year’s £1.35 million funding.

Brent will take on the title next year, with Barking and Dagenham, Lewisham and Camden among boroughs receiving smaller grants.

The programme aims to promote culture in the boroughs, paying for festivals, performances, and community events.

But 78 per cent of Londoners have never heard of the scheme, and only 14 per cent would be more likely to visit Waltham Forest as a result of it, according to the latest city-wide YouGov poll.

However, 70 per cent of Waltham Forest residents are aware of the programme, a subsequent survey found.

In the first six months of 2019 there were 100,000 cultural visits in the area, with eight in ten schools taking part.

Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: “The London Borough of Culture award is all about great culture on your doorstep, and Waltham Forest has really delivered.

“The quality of the programme has been world class and it has reached so many communities and inspired young people who do not normally go to our cultural institutions.

“It has helped residents create dance shows with world-leading choreographers, collaborate with award-winning musicians and transform their local area through artwork and festivals. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said the arts were essential for London communities.

She said: “It is not an optional add-on, an afterthought, or something nice to have – investment in culture is essential to ensure that everybody in Waltham Forest enjoys a great quality of life.”

And Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said he was positive about taking on the mantle next year.

He said: “We have an amazing array of programmes that are being designed in harmony with our Brent community and we will be making sure that the programme is going to be a huge success story – just like [former residents] Raheem Sterling, Riz Ahmed and Zadie Smith.”