Town of Culture Award

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:29 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Tracy Brabin Tracy Brabin Shadow Minister (Education) 5:29 pm, 23rd January 2019

I thank my hon. Friend for that powerful statement about how creativity can affect mental health. Certainly Creative Minds in my constituency works with social prescribing to support mental health.

Other Members want to speak, so I will conclude. I am co-chairing a parliamentary inquiry on social mobility in the performing arts. My personal commitment, in supporting the call for a town of culture award, is to work to ensure that we have diverse participation in both the bidding and the implementation process.

Being a town of culture is a key opportunity to drive better access and social mobility in the arts sector. We cannot continue to see statistics such as 12% to 13% working-class participation in the arts. We must do better, and we can. As they say, “If you don’t see it, you can’t be it.” I ask the Minister to please let us make this happen. Let us celebrate what makes towns great.