Arts Council England Funding: Coalfield Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:06 pm on 20th February 2018.

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Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 10:06 pm, 20th February 2018

Well, this Minister is deeply supportive of our arts, our culture, our galleries and our museums—our entire sector. This Minister is going to give every ounce of support to ensuring that we support the Arts Council and other arm’s length bodies in the important work that they are doing to make sure that the widest section of society has access to the arts, crucial as we know that to be in broadening the horizons and vistas that the hon. Member for Bassetlaw has spoken of. As I have said, there is work to be done, but it is wrong, in my submission, to characterise the Arts Council in the way that it has been characterised, because it is working very hard on this, and 75% of its funding is now outside of London.

As we all know, arts and culture help to remind us of where we come from. They bring incredible stories to life and help us to step into someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. This country is a world leader in culture and the arts and the Government are committed to supporting that. By continuing to inspire people through the arts, we can continue to create the practitioners of the future. With the leadership—the good leadership—of the Arts Council, the House can see that this Government are paving the way for a bright cultural future right across the nation.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.