Digital and culture minister Matt Hancock hinted today that a Conservative government would not reduce arts funding.
Speaking to members of the Creative Industries Federation, the minister said: “We have delivered that in government and we have protected arts funding in the spending review.”
In a dig at the Labour party’s manifesto, the costings of which were described as “pure Diane Abbott” by Conservatives, Hancock said that “we also actually know how we are going to pay for it”.
While the minister would not commit to any election promises ahead of the release of the Conservative Party manifesto release tomorrow, he outlined three priorities for the future relationship between the government and the creative industries: a good Brexit deal, nurturing home-grown talent, and defending intellectual property.
Of Brexit, he said: “We want to continue to see Britain be a beacon of talent around the world.
He also said that the solution to local councils cutting arts funding was not a centralised system, arguing that a national alternative would did not want to disincentivise local authorities from allocating parts of their own budgets.
However, he also indicated reaching more places outside of London is also a priority.
He said “We are actively reaching out to communities who haven’t been involved before.”
“The absolutely brilliant impact on Hull as the city of culture builds on the examples of Liverpool and Manchester before it. I think it’s important to support the development of cultural institutions in places that need a boost.”