Culture: Brexit

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 23rd May 2023.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she has made an assessment of the impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union on the income of UK cultural organisations.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

HM Government recognises the great value of the UK’s world-leading arts and cultural sectors. The Creative Industries continue to thrive and are a key high growth sector of the economy. The sector contributed £108 billion in 2021, accounting for 6% of UK GVA, and employed 2.3 million people – 7% of the total UK workforce – with employment growth increasing at almost five times the rate of the economy more widely since 2011.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund delivers on a commitment to match EU funding across all four nations of the UK and gives local communities control of how their money is spent, removing unnecessary bureaucracy and enabling them to invest in the cultural organisations that particularly matter to them.

Recently, the Department has also supported the cultural sector through unprecedented periods of financial instability and international border closures with the Culture Recovery Fund. As the published evaluation for the Fund shows, this £1.57 billion package of emergency cultural funding was delivered efficiently, helping support nearly 220,000 jobs and 5,000 organisations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, the speed and highly targeted nature of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme had a direct impact on our ability to open up the economy and ease social restrictions more quickly than other comparable countries.

The Department is also taking a number of steps to reaffirm and deepen the longstanding relationships with our European partners — and, indeed, with countries in other continents across the globe — which will support UK cultural organisations to maintain international connections and partnerships, and to forge new ones – for instance, supporting the British Council’s Seasons of Culture, via bilateral agreements with other governments, and through our membership of multilateral fora such as the Council of Europe and UNESCO. The Department also funds Arts Council England to support the sector to forge direct and deeper links at an institution-to-institution level. In all circumstances, we expect the UK’s creative output to continue to remain an export that is as highly valued in the European Union as it is across the world.

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