Cultural Attractions: Contribution to Local Economy — [Sir Charles Walker in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:58 pm on 6th October 2020.

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Photo of Nickie Aiken Nickie Aiken Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster 3:58 pm, 6th October 2020

I thank all hon. Members who have taken part in the debate, and thank the Minister for her words. It is obvious that she is passionate about the arts and culture sector, and I take her assurance that she will look into the insurance scheme—we will provide more evidence to her—and that DCMS is keen to get to stage 5 as soon as it is safe.

Although I am a central London MP, the reason I wanted to secure this debate is because this issue affects every single one of us in the House—that was clear from everybody who spoke. It really hit me when my hon. Friend Andy Carter mentioned that his son said that he cannot go to pantomime this year. The speeches today brought back so many memories: going to my first pantomime at the New Theatre in Cardiff with my nan; taking my kids to their first pantomimes at the Lyric Hammersmith and the New Wimbledon Theatre; taking them to Liverpool to see the fantastic offer there last summer; taking them to the Tate; and taking my daughter to her first production of Shakespeare at the National Theatre.

It has been a real delight for me to hear hon. Members’ speeches, but it has also been very sad. We have talked about the local economy, but this is also about health and wellbeing and the memories that arts and culture leave us, our families and our constituents. It is so vital that we continue to campaign to ensure that we can open our arts and culture venues as soon as it is safe to do so.

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 10(6)).