Over the past six years, £42.8m has been cut from Britain’s Arts Councils. Cuts to local government have meant library closures and cuts to opportunities. And for many people, work is increasingly precarious and consuming, with a lack of childcare provision and rising fees and barriers to education and training.
Under a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour government, that will change. Austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity – and for every pound invested in the arts, £1.06 is generated for the economy.
At the heart of our plan to rebuild and transform Britain, we place a vision for a well-funded, independent, dynamic arts sector.
1. Arts policy at the heart of the government’s policy making agenda.
- From opposition, Labour will commit to delivering a strategy for a publicly funded arts, culture and heritage sector in government, fit for the 21st century.
- We will create a cross departmental cabinet committee in Parliament on the arts and creative industries.
2. Reinstating and expanding funding for the arts in Britain
- We will increase funding to the arts so that it reaches the European average.
- We will restore grant in aid funding of the Arts councils. Cultural budgets will be devolved to regional levels so that decisions can be taken locally about how best to use arts funding to equip.
3. Access for all
- We will introduce a new arts pupil premium to schools in England and Wales, and will fund its introduction in Scotland.
- We will support the recognition of dance and drama as national curriculum subjects in their own right.
- We will introduce a new bursary and scholarship scheme for the arts, aimed at improving access for disadvantaged students.
4. Protecting artists and performers
- We develop and enforce transparent national policy and guidelines on minimum standards of artists’ pay and conditions.
5. Safeguarding our galleries, museums and libraries
- We will defend free access to museums and galleries and place an immediate moratorium on all privatisations in the sector.
- We will create a legal obligation for for local authorities to provide a comprehensive library service.
6. Protecting the BBC
- We will defend the licence fee as a means of funding an independent BBC.
- We will support the continued development of devolved regional television news and local radio.