Labour launch cultural manifesto without planned creative industries sector hosts

Alys Key
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Jeremy Corbyn wants to put £1bn into cultural projects in the next five years (Source: Getty)

The Labour party has detailed its plans for the arts and culture sector in a cultural manifesto, but would not answer questions from creative industries representatives on its policies.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and deputy leader Tom Watson, who is also the shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, launched the cultural manifesto in Hull today. The document elaborates on commitments made in the main manifesto, including a £1bn pledge to create a cultural capital fund.

Corbyn said: "Our cultural capital fund will help many more towns and cities like Hull benefit all year round. The fund will be administered by the Arts Council over a five-year period and help to transform our country’s cultural landscape."

The fund would help to build more free museums and art galleries in regional cities.

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Corbyn also put local music venues at the heart of the offering, saying "every Adele or Stormzy has to start somewhere." Labour promised new equipment for the venues as well as relief from business rates increases.

There was also a promise to fight for the creative industries in Brexit negotiations, but no specific goals were laid out.

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John Kampfner, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation welcomed the pledges, but said there needed to be more detail about Brexit in the party's plans.

"Labour are right that the creative industries should be at the heart of the Brexit negotiations. But we are concerned that neither Labour nor the Conservatives are acknowledging quite how enormous the impact of Brexit will be on the creative industries, which are the fastest growing sector of the UK economy."

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The Federation pulled out of hosting the cultural manifesto launch last week after it said Labour would not commit to answer questions from arts and culture sector representatives.

A spokesperson for the non-partisan body added: "We cannot provide a backdrop for campaign events which do not offer the opportunity for proper scrutiny."

This comes after digital and culture minister Matt Hancock answered nearly an hour of questions from representatives from culture and heritage organisations at a Federation event last week.

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