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Access to Culture (Young People)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 20th January 2011.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Labour, Wirral South 10:30 am, 20th January 2011

What proportion of his Department's expenditure for 2010-11 supports access to culture for young people; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

My Department invests more than £1.6 billion into our sponsored bodies and much of it is fundamentally connected to improving children's and young people's access to the fantastic culture that we enjoy in this country. We are working closely with the Department for Education on a review of music education, and will shortly announce details of a review of cultural education, to ensure that we are taking the best approach to investment in, and the delivery of, culture for young people.

Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Labour, Wirral South

Now that young people have lost their education maintenance allowance and their free theatre ticket scheme, "A night less ordinary", and that we know that there is no replacement in a good education for access to live music and theatre and other arts, what action will the Minister take in these very difficult circumstances for the cultural sector to ensure that young people, and especially those from poorer backgrounds, are not the ones who lose out?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady's sentiments. I know that she used to work for Creative Partnerships and was a trustee of the South London gallery. She will know full well that almost all our cultural organisations work extremely hard to ensure access for young people to their work. We will continue to work with them and the Department for Education to ensure that that is maintained.