Coastal Communities (Economic Regeneration)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 16th October 2014.

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Photo of Damian Collins Damian Collins Conservative, Folkestone and Hythe 9:30 am, 16th October 2014

What assessment he has made of the role of the arts and the creative industries in supporting economic regeneration in coastal communities.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

I am delighted to move on to talk about the role of the arts and creative industries in supporting economic regeneration, particularly in the Folkestone and Hythe constituency, where a combination of Government support and the extraordinary work of the philanthropist Roger de Haan has seen more than 200 creative businesses flourish in a town that hosts the amazing Folkestone triennial.

Photo of Damian Collins Damian Collins Conservative, Folkestone and Hythe

I thank the Minister for his answer. I would like to extend an invitation to both him and the Secretary of State to visit the Folkestone triennial arts festival to see the creative-led regeneration of the old town of Folkestone, which, as he said, is creating hundreds of jobs and leading to hundreds of new businesses every year.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

I certainly intend to do that. I was in my hon. Friend’s constituency in August and, as I walked with him down the promenade, literally thousands and thousands of his constituents were lining the streets cheering him. I thought that that was one of the most impressive receptions for an MP that I had ever seen, and Prince Harry, who was standing next to me, felt the same thing.