The Mall in Walthamstow has been announced as the first headline partner for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019.

The shopping centre in Selborne Road, Walthamstow, will host a three-day show, ‘Welcome to the Forest’, in January to kick-off the year of cultural activities.

The site is owned by Capital and Regional, which was granted planning permission by the council last December for an ambitions development of Walthamstow Town Square.

The plan which includes extra retail units and four high-rise tower blocks with 500 apartments will see one third of the public space in the town square built on.

The announcement comes as campaigners vowed to continue their fight against the controversial plans, which were approved by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan earlier this year.

The Mall will rebrand its information desk as the London Borough of Culture hub where details about the programme of events taking place throughout 2019 will be offered to customers.

The Welcome to the Forest event will also include a collaboration between Mercury Award-winning composer Talvin Singh, digital artists Greenaway and Greenaway, local students and electronic music producers from the borough.

They will create an audio visual piece that will be projection mapped onto Waltham Forest Town Hall.

Forest Road will be transformed into a winter carnival connecting the town hall and Lloyd Park, where artists and local schools will perform as part of the opening celebrations from January 11 to 13.

Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “The Mall Walthamstow has been an engaged and committed supporter of the borough, its future and its communities over the years and we are really excited to have them on board as we approach the start of our amazing year.

“The Mall’s support will allow us to deliver a fantastic year and help our local creative community continue to grow and make a cultural impact for our borough.

“This partnership and the Mall’s existing involvement in the borough will form part of our lasting legacy.”

Rebecca Bird, general manager of The Mall Walthamstow said: “We are long-term investors in Walthamstow and were proud to support its bid to be London Borough of Culture.

“We look forward to working with Waltham Forest Council to make this year an unforgettable celebration of the Borough’s unique creative heritage.”