Culture: Disadvantaged

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 19 September 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure the adequacy of funding for cultural activities for (a) adults and (b) children in low-income areas.

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)

His Majesty's Government is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality arts and cultural opportunities and activities, regardless of their background or where they live.

With the encouragement of the government, Arts Council England has developed a focus on Priority Places and Levelling Up for Culture Places to address historic imbalances in investment. As part of this, priority places receive dedicated Arts Council staff resources to build local capacity. The Arts Council’s Investment Programme for 2023–26, which is funding a record number of organisations in more places than ever before, has resulted in funding of £42.9 million per year in Levelling up for Culture Places. Stockton-on-Tees is a Levelling Up for Culture Place, and Tees Valley Combined Authority is a Priority Place.

The government’s Cultural Development Fund supports culture-led regeneration projects in areas across the country with the lowest levels of investment and engagement in arts and culture. This fund has provided £76 million of capital investment to 20 transformative, place-based creative and cultural projects over three rounds (2019 to 2023). In addition to this, in January 2023, the Government awarded £546 million to 31 culture and heritage projects as part of the second round of the Levelling Up Fund.

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