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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 20 November 2015 to Question 15657, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the level of support provided to the arts in the West Midlands in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
The Government recognises the intrinsic, social and economic value of the arts and supports fair distribution of funding across the whole country. Following the announcement of the spending review on 25 November 2015, Arts Council England will continue to support community arts organisations throughout the country including the West Midlands.
The West Midlands has seen a number of high quality arts programmes delivered in the region over the last five years. These include The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry which has received over £2.5 million of Government funding since 2012 enabling them to create eight new Youth Theatre groups - among them the Asian Youth Theatre and the Black Youth Theatre, which aim to give a voice to local communities; The Courtyard in Hereford which, thanks to almost £1 million of Government funding since 2012, became the first arts venue to join the Dementia Action Alliance, and is now a recognised leader in the development of dementia-friendly arts venues; and The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, one of Arts Council England’s National portfolio organisations, which has been attracting national attention by challenging and changing people’s attitudes towards racism, domestic violence, forced marriage, poverty and crime.