Please help us put culture and the creative industries at the top of the agenda.

As the General Election approaches, we are sharing our priorities for government with the political parties and prospective candidates. You can help us by telling your local candidate and their representatives that the arts matter, and that sustained and increased government funding of the arts is essential to make sure that everyone has access to great art. 

The Seven Acts of Mercy, 2016

We back great art for everyone. Support our aims to:

1. Demonstrate why the arts matter to us all, to society and to our economy

As Arts Council England says, art and culture give us joy, make us healthier, and help us understand each other.

Come and see our work, bringing others to show them the value of the arts. Stimulate philanthropy by providing recognition for those who give and supporting charitable giving.

2. Enable everyone’s right to experience the arts

In our work across the country, we see significant inequalities of all kinds every day. Along with other organisations up and down the UK, we are committed to removing the barriers that can prevent people from enjoying the arts.

Help us highlight the great work that is already happening and support initiatives to give more people the opportunity to experience it. 

3. Deliver high quality arts and cultural education in all schools

From our work with thousands of school communities in disadvantaged areas, we see the incredible impact that high quality arts experiences have on the lives of young people of all abilities and backgrounds. We want to make growing up in Britain an enriching experience for every child. 

Please back the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) call that a school must teach at least one creative subject, in lesson time, to be eligible for an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.

4. Recognise the great career opportunities in the creative industries and grow the skills the sector needs

The creative industries accounted for 1.9m jobs in 2016 (DCMS), an increase of 19.5% since 2011 and 6% of the total job market in the UK.  We call for high quality careers advice, clear career progression routes and skills training for the sector, particularly for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, as part the Industrial Strategy.

Help us achieve a strong and constructive dialogue with the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

5. Maximise the economic benefits of a healthy creative economy: for trade, regeneration, skills and communities.

The creative industries are the fastest growing sector of the UK economy and accounted for 9% of total exports of services form the UK in 2014, valued at £20bn. This will almost certainly be a higher figure now and with the right support could be far higher (CIF). Along with other arts organisations, we already help our region punch above its weight. 

Support the economy by encouraging continued investment in the arts and in cultural infrastructure to grow our world-renowned offer and by ensuring culture and tourism feature prominently in regional strategic economic planning.

6. Ensure an exit from the European Union that works for the creative and cultural industries.

“We need a package that ensures our talent pipeline, our access to funding and free movement of people” (Creative Learning Alliance).

Encourage a pragmatic, practical negotiating position which reassures EU workers already here, provides an effective visa system for the sector, and offers strong protection for intellectual property.

Sustained, and increased, government funding of the arts is essential to make all this possible, recognising that the outcomes of this investment far exceed the less than 0.1% of overall government spending.

and finally...

Our thoughts are in the context of this from King Lear:

'...Heavens deal so still!
Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,
And each man have enough.'

King Lear (Act Four, Scene 1)

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