The Government’s action means we can maintain spending on grants for the arts, which provide funding for 3,700 organisations up and down the country, and support the Arts Council’s £45 million touring programme, which is hugely valuable for the regions. The Arts

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Council announced just last week further touring grants of nearly £2 million. The Government’s action also means we can pump money into areas where the arts are under-represented, which the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent South mentioned. The Arts Council’s £37 million creative people and places fund will focus on parts of the country in which involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average.

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab): I acknowledge some of the Secretary of State’s achievements, but is she satisfied that the distribution is fair? Does she believe that areas such as the midlands get a fair share of arts funding in relation to their populations?

Maria Miller: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. It is vital that we ensure that the money available goes to the places that need it most. The Arts Council, as an arm’s length body, makes those decisions independently of the Government. We must take into account the importance of ensuring that the money gets to those areas, and particularly to rural areas, which can find it difficult to have sustainable arts programmes.

Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry) (Con): I must declare an interest as chairman of the Northampton Theatres Trust, which has a £7.5 million turnover. We receive Arts Council funding, for which we are eternally grateful. We all love regional theatre and the culture that it brings to towns across the country. I know that the Arts Council is an arm’s length body, but why should it fund two national opera companies in London, when if it funded just one, there would be plenty of money for regional theatre across the country?

Maria Miller: I understand my hon. Friend’s frustration, but the national institutions that are located in our capital city do much to support regional organisations both by supplying them with talented people and by training people from the regions. He makes the important point that regional culture, and theatre in particular, needs the right level of funding. I hope that he supports the work that we are doing to ensure that that happens.

Nadhim Zahawi: Does my right hon. Friend recognise the input that the arts have in schools? In my constituency, the Orchestra of the Swan, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and, of course, the Royal Shakespeare Company do great work in schools. The RSC also developed “Matilda” over seven years with Arts Council funding, which has gone around the world, has won Tonys and Oliviers, and is a great British export.

Maria Miller: My hon. Friend will know about the support that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education gives to the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company. My hon. Friend brings out the critical role that cultural organisations can have in underpinning the understanding of the arts and culture among the children of this country. That is important work.

Several hon. Members rose

Maria Miller: If I may, I will make a tiny bit of progress before I take further interventions, because I know that a lot of Members want to speak in this debate.

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The regional support that I have outlined illustrates how important we consider regional arts to be. I reinforced that point when I spoke recently at the British Museum. That is why the funding settlement that we have achieved is so important. It means that we can continue to fund projects in the Lake district, Leicester, Newcastle and Newquay.

The Government’s achievements do not stop at public funding. We have made great strides on philanthropy. We recognise that that is a way in which many organisations can diversify their funding streams. We have developed the catalyst scheme with the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has allocated £110 million to arts and heritage organisations in match funding, meaning that it will unlock at least as much again from private donors. We have simplified gift aid and introduced a reduced rate of inheritance tax for those who leave 10% or more of their estate to charity. We recently launched the cultural gifts scheme. I am sure that many hon. Members would like to join me in thanking the donors who already contribute almost £700 million to the arts and heritage sector every year. That support should not go unnoticed by this House.

We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Department for Education on cultural education plans. We have published the first ever national plan for music education, which has ring-fenced funding of £171 million up to 2015. Our national plan for cultural education will be launched next month, as the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage, said. Sadler’s Wells has already been selected to form the new national youth dance company. English Heritage is receiving £2.7 million from the Department for Education to establish heritage schools, which schoolchildren can visit to be inspired by our rich island story. Our 10 regional museums and schools partnerships have been awarded a total of £3.6 million funding until 2015 through the museums and schools programme.

Ian Mearns (Gateshead) (Lab): I am grateful to the Secretary of State for being so generous with her time. Unfortunately, the Department for Education cut the creative partnerships programme for schools, which was a £30 million programme designed to get young people involved in creative and artistic activities. Was that not a great shame?

Maria Miller: We are now putting more funding into cultural education through our work with the Arts Council. The hon. Gentleman should look at that before he draws too many conclusions about the effect that any changes will have on our schools. We have all agreed that cultural organisations in our communities do a huge amount, and no Member of this House would suggest otherwise.

Having worked in the creative industries for 17 years, I have first-hand experience of the importance of culture and the arts in supporting what I believe is a world-class sector, and the work we have done will help ensure that our creative industries stay world-beating. It is clear to me that a symbiotic relationship exists between culture and the arts and the creative industries, and that view is reinforced time and again when I go on regional visits, whether to Bury, Bristol or—as I did recently—to Brighton. It sings out loud and clear.

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Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) (Green) rose

Mr David Lammy (Tottenham) (Lab) rose

Maria Miller: I will, of course, give way to the hon. Lady from Brighton.

Caroline Lucas: I thank the right hon. Lady for having visited Brighton and Hove and spent time looking at some companies in my constituency. Those businesses are rightly proud that our city has won £3.3 million of investment for ultrafast broadband, but they are worried about a potential story coming from Labour that about half the super-connected cities budget could be cut to concentrate on access in rural areas. Does she agree that the speed versus access debate is not helpful because both are essential for different reasons? We need basic internet access for social inclusion, but ultrafast capacity is essential if we are to enable our UK cities to be at the cutting edge of international creative and digital innovation.

Maria Miller: The hon. Lady would be right to be deeply disappointed if anybody—let alone those on the Opposition Front Bench—suggested we should cut investment into one of this country’s most important current infrastructure projects. I join her in asking Labour Members to make their position clear on that issue in their later comments.

Mr Lammy rose

Maria Miller: I will give way to the right hon. Gentleman, and I apologise that I did not do so earlier.

Mr Lammy: Of course the 5% cut is welcomed by the sector, but the right hon. Lady will recognise that it comes on top of 5% last year and 29% the year before. Is it not premature to paint a rosy picture when arts organisations are waiting for decisions by local authorities? I appeal to her in tone not to give the impression that all is rosy when we know that education programmes are being cut and that links to arts organisations are diminishing.

Maria Miller: From his previous role, the right hon. Gentleman has a great deal of experience in dealing with the difficult choices that I and colleagues have to make. Equally, if he feels that the decisions the Government are making are not right, he must explain to the House what decisions his party would take and where the additional funding would come from. We are trying to take tough decisions fairly, and ensure that we encourage organisations to come and work together in new ways. Earlier, the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham mentioned budget cuts being an innovation. I like to talk plainly, and I acknowledge that we are in a difficult position economically. We are making tough decisions, but I think we are making them fairly.

We must recognise the importance of being transparent with people, and I was disappointed at the failure to recognise the importance of being straightforward in the recent intervention by the shadow Culture Minister, the hon. Member for Barnsley Central (Dan Jarvis), about the Labour council’s decision in Newcastle to cut funding. Indeed, it was suggested that the council would cut its entire arts budget last December. Perhaps if he had understood that point more clearly, the shadow Culture Minister would have instead suggested—my

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hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Nadhim Zahawi) made this point—that the council dip into its £50 million of reserves, rather than waiting for his boss, the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham, to overrule him.

I am pleased that we have made huge strides in providing support for our creative industries, which have an enormous impact on our economy and up and down the country. In 2011 the Government formed the Creative Industries Council to help drive growth in the UK’s creative industries and ensure that the UK remains a global centre of excellence for those industries.

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): The right hon. Lady will know that the success of our creative industries, which she is right to applaud, depends on the firm foundations of intellectual property rights and copyright protections, so why is she not getting on with the Digital Economy Act 2010 and why is she pursuing copyright exceptions?

Maria Miller: The hon. Gentleman will know that we inherited a difficult situation around the implementation of some of the provisions—provisions that were unfortunately rushed through by the previous Government and which we now have to deal with in practical reality—and we are working through them carefully.

Creative England, established in 2011, looks at investments in creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, television, games and the digital media. Along with the Creative Industries Council, it is an important way of sensibly supporting the creative industries. Our existing film tax relief has helped raise more than £1 billion in inward investment into British film, while additional tax reliefs targeted at animation, high-end television and video games were announced in last year’s Budget. These are all practical and tangible ways of helping to grow a successful creative industries sector in this country, underpinned by strong and world-leading cultural organisations.

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab) rose

Simon Wright (Norwich South) (LD) rose

Maria Miller: I will give way first to the hon. Lady and then to my hon. Friend.

Kerry McCarthy: On a point of clarification, the Secretary of State’s recent speech was interpreted to mean that she thought that the priority was continued public funding where there was a direct economic impact—in other words, that we should only support art that makes money. Will she place it on the record that that will not be the criterion for her Department’s allocation for funding, and that although the economic impact of the arts is great, there are many more benefits to arts funding?

Maria Miller rose—

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dawn Primarolo): Order. It might help, Secretary of State, if I could explain to the House that more than 30 Members wish to take part in this debate. There is already a severe time limit, and it will get even shorter at this rate. You have been incredibly generous, Secretary of State, but I wonder if I could encourage you to be a little less generous, so that we can get some Back Benchers in.

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Maria Miller: I thank you for your intervention, Madam Deputy Speaker, but I feel that I should give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich South (Simon Wright); otherwise I will fall into his bad books.

Hon. Members: Answer the last question.

Simon Wright: Norwich University of the Arts in my constituency is creating a digital centre for innovation. It has come as a result of national funding and support from the new Anglia local enterprise partnership and, of course, of the world-class innovation shown by the university itself. Will the Secretary of State look at this model and how she can work with others in government to promote the best from our world-class universities and create jobs in our communities?

Maria Miller: Of course, I will answer the question from the hon. Member for Bristol East (Kerry McCarthy). I just did not want my hon. Friend not to get the opportunity to talk as well. She is right to pick up on her point, but had she read my whole speech, rather than just an extract, she would have seen clearly that the Government absolutely recognise the intrinsic value of arts and culture. The point I was making—I think, very clearly—in that speech was that there was a powerful economic argument to be made as well. As somebody who has worked in the creative industries for almost 20 years, I know that having a strong culture and arts sector, as we do in this country, means that we can also have a strong creative industry, which has an economic benefit. That is the argument I have used—persuasively, I think—with the Treasury, and perhaps that is why we have achieved such a strong result for the sector.

On the intervention from my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich South, I would be delighted for the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage, to have a further discussion with him. I am sure he would be delighted to do that too.

I shall take your guidance, Madam Deputy Speaker, and make a few closing remarks. Our international reputation for arts and culture and the easy transfer of people between the cultural sector and the creative industries are based on the enormous talents of the people who work in the sector. We recognise that we need to invest for the future, however, and thanks to our sector skills councils, more than 3,500 people have either completed or are currently doing apprenticeships in the creative industries. The Arts Council’s creative employment programme will support up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and paid internships across the sector, and the Government are investing up to £8 million each year over the next two years to support skills development in the UK digital content sector. That is important investment in people for the future. It is ensuring that our creative industries have the sort of skilled work force that we need to innovate and compete globally.

We work closely with UK Trade & Investment, the British Council and others to explore ways to promote creative industries globally, too. We are using the GREAT campaign to underpin not just those efforts, but our economic ambitions more generally. The arts and culture, including our museums and galleries, have a key role to play. They act as our flag bearers, helping to develop interest in Britain and allowing us to build the relationships

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that mean we can do the trade deals of tomorrow. It is this kind of relationship marketing that helps UKTI to fly the flag for British goods and services, and to attract the investment that will drive jobs and opportunities here at home. It opens doors for UK plc and makes it easier for businesses to export and to expand.

If we look at what is actually happening, rather than the rhetoric from the Opposition, we see huge success up and down the country. We see new libraries opening in Birmingham and Liverpool, new regional museums in Margate and Wakefield, and refurbished and regenerated theatres in Bristol and Liverpool. Today, my Department announced a shortlist of four cities that will go forward to compete to be UK city of culture in 2017. While I—I am sorry, but the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham does not announce these things—commiserate with the seven bidders that were not shortlisted, I congratulate all 11 for their ambition and the belief that they share with me that arts and culture are a powerful force for good socially and economically, both at home and abroad.

I take this opportunity to applaud those who lead the arts and cultural institutions in our country for their vision and hard work. Above all, I thank them for their passion and innovation, and for ensuring that Britain remains a pre-eminent cultural force that is well regarded and respected all around the world.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dawn Primarolo): Order. Mr Speaker has put a six-minute time limit on all Back Bench contributions.

Several hon. Members rose—

Madam Deputy Speaker: Are we all waiting to leave the Chamber? [Laughter.] I just thought that maybe hon. Members knew something that I did not. Given the shortage of time, it may be necessary to review the time limit and reduce it further, but we will start with a six-minute limit and see how we get on.

3.52 pm

Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): I am fortunate to represent the beautiful historic city of York. It is a vibrant centre for the arts, science, craft skills, technology and the creative industries. It is important to realise that they feed off each other—we cannot silo the arts away from science and think that the one does not affect the other. We have apprentice stonemasons being trained at York Minster and wood carvers. The York Glaziers Trust is restoring the biggest mediaeval work of art in the world, the great east window of York Minster, in a £30 million project. Exhibition designers have just installed the new York Minster Revealed exhibition in the undercroft below York Minster, which combines Roman remains with interactive computer-driven displays, so that people can imagine what life was like almost 2,000 years ago. We have software engineers who have designed some of the world’s most popular computer games. I could talk about all these things, but instead I want to talk about one thing only: the Science Museum Group, which includes the National Railway museum in York.

On 5 June, the director of the Science Museum Group, Ian Blatchford, said:

“If an additional 10% cut is made when the spending review is announced at the end of the month, there would be little choice other than to close one of our museums.”

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Following that statement, I tabled two parliamentary questions to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey) whether free admission to national museums would be retained—he answered yes, and I thank him for that—and whether sufficient funding would be made available to keep open all of the Science Museum Group’s museums. I got an equivocal answer at that time, but when I was on Radio York with the Minister yesterday morning, he gave a clear answer, saying that he believed sufficient funding was being made available to the Science Museum Group to keep all its museums open.

Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland) (Lab): As my hon. Friend knows, Shildon in my constituency is home to one of the branches of the National Railway museum. It is immensely successful. Last year, it had 200,000 visitors, brought £6 million into the regional economy and trained 100 young people. Does he agree that, as railways made Britain great and that these are among the most popular of our national museums, free entry is absolutely essential?

Hugh Bayley: It is absolutely essential.

I take it that the Minister’s comment on the radio in Yorkshire yesterday applied to all the sites—to Shildon as well as to the York branch of the National Railway museum.

I also tabled a parliamentary question to ask about the Government’s funding for the Science Museum Group. The Minister replied yesterday, for which I am grateful. He told me that if the funding were pooled for the Science museum, which includes the York, Shildon and Bradford museums, the Museum for Science and Industry in Manchester, which was funded separately until recently, and the National Coal Mining museum, one would see that the total had fallen from £48.25 million in 2009-10 to £42.25 million this year. That is a reduction of more than 15% after inflation is taken into account.

We are told that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport secured a reduction of only 5% in its funding settlement. If the Science museum received a further cut of 5%, its structural deficit would increase from about £2 million a year to £4 million a year. Nothing has been said yet about the capital funding of between £2 million and £2.5 million. If that is not provided, the deficit will of course increase further, because revenue money would have to be used to repair the roof of the museum and for other capital works. If the Science Museum Group does not receive capital money in addition, the deficit will rise and, even though the doors of the museums will stay open, the greater the deficit, the less money there will be for preserving and conserving their artefacts, for research, for public education and outreach and for collecting new assets. It is odd that a Conservative Government should be doing significantly less to conserve our national heritage than was being done before. We face the real danger of our museums being hollowed out. It is not just me saying that; the directors of our national museums are saying it, too.

Our museums, including the National Railway museum, have some of the most valuable artefacts in the world. We have George Stephenson’s original engineering drawings

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for the Rocket. We have the Mallard, which won the world speed record for a steam locomotive 75 years ago. This year, the museum has assembled the other five remaining Gresley class locomotives in York, probably for the first and last time in history. I once took the US Senator Paul Sarbanes, who is a bit of a railway enthusiast, to the National Railway museum in York. He represented the state of Maryland, which includes Baltimore, home of the US’s biggest railway museum, but he was completely knocked out by our museum. It is in a class of its own, internationally.

The artefacts in our national museums in Bradford, Manchester, South Kensington, York and Shildon are some of the most important and valuable cultural assets in the world. They are like fantastic flowers in a garden. I put it to the Secretary of State that if we do not keep feeding their roots, those flowers will wither and die. There is a danger that, by taking millions and millions out of those museums each year, they will no longer have the resources to keep their collections up to date, conserved and available to the public, now and for future generations.

The Science Museum Group attracts 5 million visitors a year—2 million of whom visit the northern museums—and another 20 million visitors online. It has a diverse range of visitors, with more black and minority ethnic visitors than any other national museum and more from lower socio-economic groups. Also, 60% of its visitors are from outside London and the south-east. The northern museums are not regional museums; they are national and international institutions. The majority of people visiting the National Railway museum in my constituency come from outside Yorkshire and the north of England.

If the Government want to promote growth, they need to inspire more young people to take an interest in engineering, science and technology, which is what the Science Museums Group does. It is no accident that my son, now a railway engineer, was a frequent visitor to science museums in his youth. The Government need to keep these museums alive, and I beg that they do just that.

4 pm

Mr John Whittingdale (Maldon) (Con): I very much welcome this opportunity to debate the arts and creative industries. Although I of course support the amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, in the spirit of consensus that the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport always tries to achieve, I have to say that I can find nothing in the motion tabled by the Leader of the Opposition that I disagree with.

As a believer in free markets, I am not normally a supporter of public subsidy. However, I am convinced of the benefits of public subsidy in the case of the arts—not just the economic benefits, which the Secretary of State quite rightly spelt out in her speech. The arts are hugely important to people’s quality of life in this country, as the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) said, and many other benefits flow from that in education, health, community cohesion and so much more.

Under the previous Government, the arts enjoyed years of plenty; under this Government, we are facing lean years for the arts. That is absolutely inevitable. This Government have the higher priority of trying to clear

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up the enormous mountain of borrowing and debt that we inherited, and it would be wrong to exclude the arts from having to play a part in that. However, when we on the Select Committee looked at funding of the arts immediately after the election, we said that it would result in some difficult decisions and that some institutions would probably close as a result. I am delighted to hear from the Secretary of State that she has done well in her debate with colleagues in the Treasury for this year’s spending settlement, but I understand from what I have read and what she has said that we can anticipate still further reductions. That means that more institutions will probably have to close, which will be a tragedy.

That means that we need to look at other means by which we can find funding for those institutions. The Government have already done a lot in trying to encourage philanthropy and, as has been mentioned, to increase the money going from the national lottery. In that respect, I would suggest that what the shadow Secretary of State described as the arts emergency might mean that we can consider—perhaps on only a temporary basis—the flexibility of national lottery funding. It has always been the principle that national lottery funding is there for capital investment projects and not for meeting ongoing costs, but if the consequence is that we can build new buildings while existing ones close, that would not necessarily seem to be a sensible use of resources. That is something that we might consider, if only for a limited period.

I was also interested to see what Dr Simon Thurley said recently about how it is hard to justify spending £35 million on a single painting by an Italian artist when so many buildings in Britain—5,000—are on the at-risk register. That, too, is something we might just look at.

I want to turn quickly to the creative industries, where one has to say that the picture is much brighter. The figures—in terms of employment and economic growth—for the huge contribution that the creative industries make in this country are well known. The success of the music industry and the film industry are well known, but it is also important to look at the others, such as electronic games, publishing, design and advertising.

Paul Farrelly rose

Mr Whittingdale: If the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, I have six minutes and I would like to continue.

One of the most striking things from the Select Committee’s recent visit to California—I will remember this for a long time—was the look on the face of the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Jim Sheridan) when he saw thousands of zombies overcoming Philadelphia. He said, “That’s Glasgow.” Of course, it was Glasgow. Indeed, that film alone brought £90 million into this country. That could not have come without the tax break which the previous Government introduced but which this Government have maintained and extended to cover high-end TV drama, animation and electronic games.

The one note of warning I would sound is that the success of all those creative industries depends on one thing: a strong framework of intellectual property rights. We tinker with that at our peril. Yes, there may be a case for modernising it, but we must be very careful not to

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pursue questionable and illusory benefits at the price of putting at risk the huge economic benefit to this country from the success of all our creative industries. I ask the Secretary of State, and also Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to think very carefully about introducing such things as private copying exception and some of the other Hargreaves proposals. I know that we shall be debating that, but the Secretary of State will be aware of the considerable alarm that is being expressed throughout the creative industries about the damage that could be done unless the matter is handled very carefully.

We also need to do more to tackle online piracy, which is still doing huge damage to the creative industries. The Digital Economy Act 2010 was an extremely good first step: it is not perfect, but it is nevertheless a matter of great regret that none of its provisions have yet been enacted. Things are being done—the City of London police are doing extremely good work, and I strongly support their new initiatives to pursue online intellectual property crime—but a very strong signal would be sent if letters could be written to serial file-sharers who are in breach of copyright law, telling them that what they are doing is not only wrong, but jeopardising the success of the creative industries on which we depend so much.

4.6 pm

Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) (Lab): Let me begin by telling the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale) that the film “World War Z”—or zee, to the Americans—involved actors. It was not people in Glasgow who were walking about as zombies.

I must admit that I am a repentant son to the creative industries. When it was announced that the Select Committee would be looking into the whole issue of the creative arts, mine was a very luddite approach. I took the view that inquiries of that kind were for arty-farty types—and I am certainly not one of them. However, as I have said, I am now repentant. I was wholly mistaken. Since the inquiry I have learnt how much the creative industries have benefited the UK economy, and I now realise that “arty-farty types” could not be further from the truth of what today’s creative industries look like. People in the creative industries are dynamic, innovative and, more important, young. We must continue to encourage those young people and allow them to thrive, because without them we would lose a great part of our economy and a beacon for British culture.

Paul Farrelly: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Jim Sheridan: I will take one intervention.

Paul Farrelly: Does my hon. Friend agree that it is important for education, particularly arts education, to be available to everyone across the spectrum? Evidence given to our Committee expressed great concern about the originally proposed EBacc, which would have narrowed choice in state schools and hence narrowed the background of people going into the creative industries. Does my hon. Friend agree that we must be ever vigilant in reining in the over-eager Secretary of State for Education, so that in his enthusiasm he does not do unintended damage that we might all come to regret?

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Jim Sheridan: My hon. Friend is right. Perhaps he saw my speech in advance, because I was going to say something about that. He is an extremely important and valued member of the Committee.

May I issue a plea to the Secretary of State? Regional television companies, especially commercial companies such as Scottish Television, feel that their profiles are not as high as those of public sector broadcasters, and that their priorities do not receive the same attention. At the same time, in the light of the additional funds that will be needed to finance the forthcoming referendum and, indeed, the Commonwealth games, there is genuine concern about the fact that a public sector broadcaster, BBC Scotland, is not receiving the resources that it ought to be receiving.

I chair the Unite group in Parliament. Unite represents a number of people who work in print, publishing, the arts and tourism. It may not surprise Members that the first issue that I want to raise in that connection is the sheer number of jobs involved. The creative industries employ about 1.5 million people, and, according to Government statistics, employment in the sector is increasing at twice the rate of the economy. This is not a sector that we want to stifle, as it is one of the only ones that is actually managing to create jobs.

We must also ensure that we remember all the different jobs that these industries entail. Unfortunately, we have a habit of focusing on the stage talent and sometimes forget those who work backstage, who are the engine behind the industry. Their involvement is just as crucial; when we talk about job creation, we must talk about boosting jobs in those areas as well. I mentioned earlier that young people drive the industry, but in talking about jobs we must address the desperate need to encourage and support those who want to follow such a path. Owing to the Government’s education policy, there has been a downgrading of the arts and other subjects that lead towards the creative industries. More importantly, there are few opportunities for young people to train on the job in apprenticeships and paid posts. I fear that those who cannot afford to work in such posts, or to go to university to gain the additional qualifications—they may not even want to do so—are at a disadvantage in the industry.

Unfortunately, the industry also disadvantages those who cannot undertake an unpaid internship. We hear stories of young hopefuls running around film sets or recording studios desperate to gain experience and contacts, but those people can afford not to be paid; they can afford to live in London, Manchester or Glasgow with no wages. That is not a reality for many young people, so we inevitably lose some of our best talents to those practices. More must be spent on apprenticeships and on giving all young people the chance to work in these important industries.

When we were in government, we introduced the future jobs fund, which in one programme alone provided 800 paid work placements for young people, and 71% of those who participated went into employment, education or training afterwards. This Government, as we know, have abolished that fund. These industries not only provide jobs, but have a much wider impact: they are the third biggest export industry in the UK and worth something in the order of £36 billion a year.

The wide-ranging impact of investment in the creative industries can be felt across the local economy. As I said

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previously, we can see that in Glasgow. The film “World War Z” is being shown for the first time in Glasgow tonight, following its premier in London. It brought £3.3 million into the city’s economy during the 17 days when the film was shot there. Overall, Hollywood films boosted the economy last year by £20.5 million. “Cloud Atlas” and “Under the Skin” were also filmed in the city. In 2011, 225 productions were shot in Glasgow, and those of us in and around the city are keen to keep encouraging the industry, to help boost others that are struggling during the recession.

In order to survive, the creative industries are crying out for a better solution. I am sure that there are people more in tune with corporate issues than I am and are able to cover that more extensively. These industries cannot attract investment because investors are not confident that they can get the returns that they deserve. Why would anyone invest in music or films to generate money when there is no guarantee of a return?

I am conscious of the time. I am delighted that the Culture, Media and Sport Committee embarked on an inquiry into the creative industries and their impact on the economy.

4.13 pm

Mr John Leech (Manchester, Withington) (LD): I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in this debate. The arts and creative industries are one of the UK’s biggest success stories, outperforming most of our more traditional sectors of the economy and exporting talent across the globe. They are one of the main reasons why the UK is a prime destination of choice for so many foreign travellers. Unfortunately, we do not often get the opportunity to talk about its successes or to debate some of the potential challenges ahead, which is why I welcome this opportunity.

There is little doubt that the subject of this Opposition day debate was chosen in the light of questions being raised about the future of some of our finest museums in the north—in Manchester, Bradford and York—but the unequivocal response from the Minister that the museums are not going to close, and the tough negotiations by the Secretary of State, which have resulted in a much better settlement for our museums, have rather ruined the Opposition’s opportunity to criticise the Government. This has resulted in a fairly benign motion, which the Government could quite easily have agreed to, and I certainly agree with the comments of the Chair of my Select Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale).

The arts and creative industries are vital to communities and the economy throughout the country, and we must nurture the next generation of talent if we are to continue to grow. The need to do that was highlighted in the report of Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope, whom the Minister commissioned in 2010 to review the skills needs of the UK’s video games and visual effects industries and to make practical recommendations as to how they can be met.

The UK had slipped from third to sixth in the global development ranking, and there was a clear recognition that more needed to be done, so I am a little disappointed that the Government did not simply accept the motion, but political rules tend to dictate that Oppositions always oppose Governments—we have had a fair bit of

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that over the past three years—and Governments always reject anything put forward by Oppositions. I suppose it could be argued that the Opposition’s motion questions the leadership of the Department, but I want to put on record my support for the ministerial team in recognising the importance of the creative industries and for the Secretary of State’s determined negotiations with the Treasury to put in place funding that will secure the future of our museums.

Barbara Keeley: The hon. Gentleman has been a supporter of the Museum of Science Industry in the past, although judging by the tone of his speech, that might be changing. Will he comment on the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for York Central (Hugh Bayley) about the structural deficit that is building up because of the cuts, which will reach 20% even with just the 5% cut now? Is he concerned that even if there is only a 5% cut, our museum—MOSI—will still have a fight on its hands to maintain the extensive number of buildings?

Mr Leech: If the hon. Lady gives me a little more time, I will talk about that.

The Department has protected the future of our museums at a time when it would have been far easier for the Government to have cut deeper into the DCMS budget, so I will certainly be supporting the amendment.

Concerns had been raised that museums in Manchester, York and Bradford were under threat of closure. Ian Blatchford, head of the Science Museum Group, warned about the possible need to close one or more of the museums in the north if the spending review resulted in a 10% cut in the budget, or at least to start charging to make up the predicted increase in the deficit from £2 million to £6 million. That resulted in huge campaigns to protect our museums, including the Save MOSI campaign led by the Manchester Evening News, which received over 30,000 signatures in the first 24 hours.

It is always difficult to gauge how real a threat of closure there actually was, but the Department could not have been clearer in showing its commitment to our national museums in the north, and in fighting its corner in budget negotiations. We must recognise, however, that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure that museums are put on a secure financial footing for the long term.

What I am certain about is that we must not go down the road of charging for entry. The previous Government should be applauded for ending charging at state-funded museums in 2001. In Manchester that resulted in an increase in patronage from 288,000 in the last 12 months of charging to over 833,000 last year. MOSI is Manchester’s No. 1 attraction, but it is more than that: it is a science and industry museum located at the heart of the industrial revolution, and it is a destination for learning. Most children across Greater Manchester will visit the museum at some point in their school career.

Overall, there were 5 million visitors to the group’s four museums in the last 12 months. Even with the “doomsday” scenario mooted by Ian Blatchford, that means the SMG would need to generate only £1.20 extra from visitors coming through the doors to wipe out the £6 million deficit.

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Charging an entry fee is not the answer. We know what charging does to visitor numbers. Currently eight of the top 10 UK visitor attractions are free DCMS-sponsored national museums, and there are about 18 million annual visits to museums and galleries that used to charge an entrance fee. It would also have an impact on foreign tourism. According to VisitBritain, Britain’s major museums and galleries earn the country £1 billion a year in revenue from overseas tourists. A recent report on Britain’s culture and heritage showed that museums and galleries are a key motivator for many international visitors to Britain, with free world-class national museums and art galleries a particular draw. Given the importance of the tourism industry to the UK economy, charging must be ruled out.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee intends to carry out an inquiry on the future and funding of the national museums. The two Front-Bench teams could do worse than to follow the example set by the Committee, as the hon. Members for Shipley (Philip Davies) and for Bradford South (Mr Sutcliffe) and I all supported having an inquiry into how we could secure the future of our museums. We took a proper cross-party approach. Rather than playing party politics, the Committee will take a proper look at ways in which additional sources of income can be found, at a time when state funding will, obviously, remain under pressure for years to come.

The Opposition motion also rightly recognises the importance of the creative industries to the economy; they make up in excess of 7% of the economy and continue to show strong growth at a time when many sectors have stagnated or retracted. One great example is the UK games development sector, which is the largest in Europe. However, there has been disagreement recently on whether or not high-tech creative companies, such as those in the games industry, should be included in the measurement of the creative industries.

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Order.

4.21 pm

Mr Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) (Lab): It is a great honour to be involved in this debate and to follow the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr Leech). I am a bit dubious about the football team he supports, but that was the first time I have heard him congratulate the previous Labour Government. Will he put that in writing so that we have it for future reference?

This is an important debate, for the reasons that have been outlined by many of my colleagues on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, whose Chairman has said what it is trying to do. My hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Jim Sheridan) was a bit hard on himself in saying that he was not fully involved with the thought patterns on what needs to happen. He, like me, has certainly learned that the creative industries are vital parts of this country’s lifeblood. They are also important to cities such as Bradford.

I know the House will forgive me for talking about the plight of Bradford’s media museum, but before I do that I wish to mention something that was being talked about long before the prospect of its closure: the rebranding of the city. We were discussing a city with a strong literary and cultural history, and people will know that of Bradford. It is the home of the Brontës, J. B. Priestley,

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David Hockney, the Black Dyke Mills Band, Kala Sangam and, more recently, Zayn from One Direction. It is also the birthplace of the British film industry and is the first UNESCO city of film. The Minister, and the Education Secretary, whom we are delighted to see in his place, will be pleased to know that next month Bradford college will launch the international film school. That brings together Bollywood and international film makers from around the world to teach the youngsters of Bradford about film. Of course, as I said, Bradford is also the home of the National Media museum.

We were not just involved in a marketing or rebranding exercise; it was about rethinking our future economy in Bradford and cities like it. Bradford is very close to Leeds, the regional centre, and we wanted to find a way to examine the job and economic prospects for Bradford for the future. We want to sell ourselves as a city of culture, media and sport—we have the heritage. That is why the announcement saying that the National Media museum may close came as a bit of a blow. I think that there has been some inverted snobbery over many years. I am old enough to remember when we first got the National Media museum from London in the late ’80s, at a time when the then Government were trying to make sure that everything was not concentrated around London and that things would go out to the regions. We were proud to have the National Media museum in Bradford, but there has been snobbery in the past, as people have, year after year, been trying to get the museum back to London from Bradford. So it is great news that the Minister said what he did to the group of Bradford MPs and said publicly yesterday that there is no reason why the media museum should close. It is great news that the Department has been able to reduce a 10% cut to a 5% cut, but it is still a cut. My hon. Friend the Member for York Central (Hugh Bayley) spoke about the accumulation of problems that we face.

I hope the Minister can tell us about the capital programme and the issues that science museums may face in relation to the capital project. That will be important to the future of the museum. It is not just about saving the northern museums; it is about putting investment in and making sure that they are places where people want to go. Our museum has been run down over the past few years. I do not care whose fault that is. We need to look at new partnership arrangements to make sure that we can invigorate that museum. We can do that through the local authority, the local college and the local university coming together, and businesses in Bradford looking to see what they can do philanthropically to protect the future of the museum. I am grateful to the Minister, who said at the meeting on Monday that he would use his good offices to bring people together to try and make sure that we have a workable solution to what needs to happen in Bradford.

The debate is about more than museums in Bradford, important though those are. It is about the creative sector. Copyright is a major concern, as the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale) said. The Government need to take heed of bodies such as ALCS, which the Minister knows well. It is not about alcoholics, as he tried to explain yesterday when he talked about Barbara Hayes and Janet Anderson spending their time in Strangers Bar. The Authors Licensing and Collecting Society

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looks after the copyright proposals that are before the Government now. It is important that the creative industries are confident about copyright protection.

The creative industries are important to the economy. They are the new manufacturing, in terms of the opportunities that they present. In Bradford we have a growing young population. We have the opportunity to have technicians involved in the film industry and in the games industry in our great city. We want to have film studios. I notice with interest that the Warner Brothers planning application has been turned down. If Buckinghamshire does not want it, we will have it in Bradford and in Yorkshire. We must ensure that the sector in the UK remains a world-leading sector. We may have our political knockabout, but the sector is important to us as a country and we need to make sure that we develop it in our own best interests.

4.27 pm

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon) (Con): I shall take this opportunity to try to cover two subjects, the video games industry and libraries. I am the chair of both all-party parliamentary groups.

Starting with the video games industry, I work very well with the trade representatives, UKIE, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, and TIGA, which have done an incredible job in helping to shape Government policy and promote an industry that is growing at an incredible rate. In the UK alone the video game consumer market is worth £2.9 billion, with year-on-year growth of 4%. That makes up 40.2% of the entertainment market. There are about 33.6 million games in the UK, evenly split between males and females. The UK is the third biggest consumer market for the video games industry, after Japan and America. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the global market will be worth $87 billion by 2017.

Game development is popular in the UK, with 56 universities providing 141 video games specialist courses throughout the UK. There are 9,224 creative staff working in studios, with 16,864 jobs indirectly supported by those studios. The sector’s contribution—this is always music to politicians’ ears—to the UK gross domestic product was around £947 million in 2012. Crucially, 95% of our game developers export their product.

The first of the three points that I want to make is that the UK games tax relief is hugely welcome news. It will be a major shot in the arm to our industry and will allow us to keep up with the international competition and the huge potential for growth in the sector. For those Eurosceptics in the Chamber, I have to say that Europe is being particularly difficult. I urge the Government to stand up, as they do on many other issues relating to Europe, and make sure that Europe does not cheat our games developers out of the incentive to proceed.

Secondly, the radical changes to computer science in schools are also crucial. On a number of occasions I have visited a local studio called Neon Play, which is expanding at an incredible rate and producing fantastic games. It tells me that its biggest challenge is getting skilled people. People have the degrees and qualifications, but they almost have to start again because their education has been broad brush rather than specialising in, for example, 3D programming, design, music or a particular

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segment of a game, which would make a huge difference. I saw how it can inspire young people. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a child from a local organisation called SMASH, which helps children from challenging backgrounds, and he was given an opportunity to be inspired in a career that ultimately, on average, pays £34,000 a year, which is definitely worth aspiring to.

Finally, we need to consider the problem of the lack of females in the video games industry. I went to an event organised by a fantastic charity called Lady Geek. Within the industry, 90% of jobs are taken by males, and only 4% of game developers are female. Lady Geek is doing a fantastic job to promote and encourage as many females as possible to take this up, and I have recently written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to ask her personally to meet representatives of the charity, and I very much hope that she will.

Libraries provide an important starting point for many people who ultimately go into the creative industries. I was formerly the lead member for libraries within my local authority and we built a number of new libraries, including a £10 million central library on time and on budget, and made some changes. I want to make a quick whistle-stop tour of things that I would like to see within the library service, and I am sure that the shadow Minister will be taking lots of notes, as this is an area that he often follows me on.

Modern library buildings are key. In a modern bookshop such as Waterstones, one expects a certain quality of service, but I am afraid that too many of our libraries are in need of refurbishment. Local authorities must utilise section 106 moneys, the new homes bonus and the opportunities within the Localism Act 2011 to leverage bits of funding. When they spend that money, they need to look at sharing best practice. Too often, local authorities reinvent the wheel, start again and spend huge sums doing things that Waterstones would do for a fraction of the price.

We must also consider measures such as shared usage. Our Old Town library was due to close. I was part of the team that campaigned to keep it, and across the road we had a fantastic refurbished arts centre. We transferred the library into that, and it extended its core 20 hours to cover the entire time that the arts centre was open. The council had to pay only one set of rent and rates, and usage went through the roof.

Libraries must be at the heart of the community. We should display usage and membership figures in all libraries for the community to see. Library managers should be empowered to be responsible not just for the physical building but for the community that they serve, taking library services out there.

Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): Will the hon. Gentleman therefore condemn the views of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who said that those who are interested in saving their libraries were just “a bunch of luvvies”?

Justin Tomlinson: I have worked with library campaigners throughout the country and I always challenge them to make sure that local authorities understand the importance of libraries, and in particular to make sure that they are being well used. I have been incredibly impressed with my local authority’s attempts to do outreach work,

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encouraging the summer reading programme that all MPs support every year. We have a brilliant officer in Ellen Carter, who does fantastic things in the community, encouraging people of all ages to use the libraries.

We also need to make sure that the library service matches modern expectations. Swindon took a bold decision—we are always at the cutting edge—and opened a library on a Sunday because it was next door to the Asda Walmart, and it is now its busiest day, so we need to adapt and change.

Volunteers are a controversial subject in the library world. Some local authorities decided that they could do away with professional librarians and replace them with volunteers. My view is that volunteers should be encouraged to enhance library provision, which could be by extending opening hours, providing additional activities, entertainment and events, and fund-raising.

Guy Opperman (Hexham) (Con): Does my hon. Friend agree that flexibility is absolutely key if libraries are to continue, co-locating and co-working with other public utilities?

Justin Tomlinson: My hon. Friend is spot on. Like any sector, things change, and libraries must also keep up. Every community is different, and it is important that the centre is not prescriptive. Each local community can shape and influence their own service.

We need to ensure that volunteers promote the library within the community, taking the library service to people who cannot reach the libraries. They need to produce newsletters, promote things on Facebook, and make sure that the library is at the heart of the community.

We must also look at library budgets. It is staggering that even today only 7.5% of a typical library budget is spent on book stock. I regularly ask people about that, and most think that the figure is probably about 50%. We must ensure that money is spent on the front line, not the back office. Obviously the Government will have to make a decision on how we take forward e-reading.

In summary, I am keen to see local library managers empowered and volunteers encouraged in order to improve the library service. We must ensure wherever possible that we deliver value for money within a service that is much loved by our communities.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Order. We will now hear a maiden speech. I remind the House that, as a courtesy, Members do not intervene in a maiden speech. Hopefully they will not intervene too much afterwards, if we are to get everybody in.

4.35 pm

Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) (Lab): Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to make my maiden speech in this debate. I am deeply honoured not only to have been chosen by the people of South Shields to represent them as their Member of Parliament, but to be the first woman to do so. Shields has boasted a Labour MP in every election since 1935. It gives me tremendous pride to represent one of the most discerning electorates in the country.

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I would first like to pay tribute to my predecessor, David Miliband. David was a passionate and brilliant public servant, both as a constituency MP and a Cabinet Minister. He was highly regarded by the local community, not least for presiding over the dramatic transformation of our schools. His record in government, beginning as schools Minister, then a Communities and Local Government Minister, then Environment Secretary, and finally Foreign Secretary, is proof of the determination and vigour with which he pursued his role. I know that Members on both sides of the House share my admiration and respect for him and wish him well in his new role.

Shields is a town defined by its geography, standing as it does on the mouth of the River Tyne and facing out to the North sea. As a port, it has welcomed seafarers from far-flung locations. Its magnificent coastline and award-winning beaches are one of the north-east’s great natural spectacles. Each year we host one of Britain’s greatest human spectacles, serving as the finishing line for the tens of thousands of runners who participate in the great north run.

It is a town with a proud history of political organisation and vibrant community and trade union activity. It is a town that knows the dignity and reward that work brings and understands the duty we each have to provide not just for ourselves and our families, but for the world around us. It is a town enriched by a diversity of outlooks and traditions, dating back to the days of the Roman empire but continually refreshed by the arrival of foreign traders and settlers. I hope that my contribution to the House will reflect those virtues and do credit to the community I represent.

As the constituency’s first woman MP, and the first MP to have been born within its boundaries, I feel that I am something of an innovation. But the people of Shields have always been great innovators. My great-great-great-grandfather, William Wouldhave, was the inventor of the lifeboat. The constituency is also home to Souter lighthouse, the first to use alternating electric current. We have Britain’s oldest daily newspaper, TheShields Gazette, first published in 1849. We have one of Britain’s first mosques, in Laygate, and for over a century the constituency has been home to a significant Yemeni population. They have been joined by Bangladeshi and Indian communities, who have become part of the fabric of our town and continue to make important contributions.

Work is underway on a £100 million regeneration of the town centre, which will include a new cinema, library and arts centre. That will add to our already vibrant creative industry, comprising the South Shields museum and the Customs House. Since the 1800s, the Customs House has developed into a premier arts venue, with a theatre, cinema and gallery. Through its chartered programme, the Customs House, under the fantastic leadership of Ray Spencer, known locally as “Tommy the trumpeter”, offers what is at the core of today’s debate: an opportunity for all people to engage and learn from the arts. That opportunity is strongly valued by my right hon. and hon. Friends.

The port of Tyne continues to thrive, providing employment and vital trade links to Europe and beyond. It thoroughly deserves its recent accolade of north-east business of the year 2013. Our young people are achieving

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their highest ever GCSE results. Despite challenging financial times, South Tyneside college and its world famous Marine school continue to play a part in offering first class vocational education to students of all ages.

South Tyneside district hospital, where I was born, continues to provide vital services for our community against a backdrop of cuts and reorganisation. South Tyneside Homes has won the training and development category of the “Best Companies to Work For” awards run by The Sunday Times. In the last financial year, almost 3,000 council homes across the borough were improved and the number of apprentices that we boast is increasing steadily. It is little wonder that the Labour-controlled South Tyneside council was commended by The Municipal Journal as one of a handful of best achieving councils nationally and that Shields has recently been singled out as one of the country’s 30 best places to live by the sea.

Notwithstanding that, Shields continues to suffer one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We need investment in infrastructure and industrial and commercial development. It makes no sense economically to allow my constituents’ potential to go unrealised; a skilled and knowledgeable work force give far more back to the country than they cost to train.

I put myself forward for election to represent the people of Shields at Westminster so that I can fight our corner during these difficult times. I know that I am only one person, but I am the voice for everyone in my constituency. I will make sure that those who voted for me are proud that they did. I will try to win the confidence of not only those who did not vote for me, but the people who did not vote at all. I will work to give them confidence not just in me, but in this House.

4.41 pm

Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth) (Con): As one who represents a port, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the hon. Member for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck) and congratulate her on a first class maiden speech. Like seafarers across the nation, many people in my constituency owe a great debt to the hon. Lady’s grandfather. We can all be proud of the invention of the lifeboat and the subsequent lifeboat service, which has saved countless lives around our shores.

Given the passion with which the hon. Lady spoke, about her ancestors and the place from which she comes, I am sure that she will proudly represent her community. Her great sense of history, place and public service shone through her speech. She must be particularly pleased to be the first woman to represent her seat. As a woman Member of Parliament, I am pleased to welcome other women, whatever side of the House they sit on. Having more women Members of Parliament can only be a force for good. Finally, I congratulate the hon. Lady on what will undoubtedly be the most difficult speech that a Member of Parliament makes; I assure her that all subsequent speeches will be much easier. Well done.

I turn to the subject of the debate. Like the Secretary of State, I believe passionately in the intrinsic value of the arts, which are a fundamental expression of our human nature and important for our sense of health and well-being. As the Secretary of State rightly pointed out, arts and the creative industries are also important

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to our economy. In the south-west, the creative economy is worth more than £1 billion and the region employs more than 94,000 people in the sector.

In the limited time available, I want to share the terrific success story of creative arts in Cornwall and my constituency in particular. Cornish people are naturally creative and innovative, as well as self-reliant, and we are used to working in partnership. Despite the difficult economic times, we are very much rising to the challenge; I refute the “gloom and doom” scenario introduced by Opposition Members.

I am grateful for the personal support of the Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), who has made positive interventions in respect of the National Maritime museum and Royal Cornwall museum in my constituency. I am happy to report that both are alive and kicking and have positive plans for the future. They are joined by the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, which has ambitious plans to go from strength to strength and create the national theatre of Cornwall. I could not make this speech without mentioning the award-winning Falmouth art gallery. Despite the Opposition’s dreadful picture of doom and gloom, I can report on organisations that are alive and kicking and going from strength to strength.

The Government’s introduction of beneficial tax arrangements for the film industry means that Cornwall is now being used as a site for a lot of extremely good films, especially by crews from overseas. The Cornish writer Rosamunde Pilcher is a firm favourite with Germans and film crew after film crew has pitched up in Cornwall to make films of her popular books. This is exciting for us in Cornwall and it is producing a lot of very welcome jobs. If hon. Members have not seen the film “Summer in February”, which was shot in Cornwall, I urge them to do so, because it shows Cornwall at its best.

Damian Collins: Does my hon. Friend agree that that type of commercial investment from the film and television industry—similar to that from philanthropists in the arts—is creating a vibrant cultural scene not just in central London, but right across the country?

Sarah Newton: Absolutely. I am happy to back up that point. As far west as we are in Cornwall, that is a very important part of our economy and our quality of life.

In the couple of minutes I have left, I want to draw the House’s attention to another way in which the Government are supporting the creative industries. We are extremely proud that Falmouth has just gained university status. Falmouth university has an international reputation for excellence in art, design, media and performance. It has 4,000 students and employs people. Far from the doom and gloom of the Opposition, it is seeing increased applications and full rolls. Over 100 hundred years, the institution has provided a great deal of people and skills for our creative industries. It has had more than £100 million of investment over the past 10 years, supported by successive British Governments and the European Union. The merger with Dartington college of arts in 2008 brought a wealth of new opportunities for students and secured the future of Dartington’s internationally renowned portfolio of performance courses.

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All of that investment means that a lot of graduates are not only going on to be employed in our vital creative industries, but setting up businesses themselves. Falmouth graduates do not simply get jobs; they make jobs for themselves and others. Recent investments by the university, working in partnership with Cornwall council, have led to innovative projects, such as the academy for innovation and research and the innovation centre, where graduates and undergraduates work with local businesses, using their creativity to help grow even more jobs. A target for 2015 is to support 185 companies, which should create 122 new jobs and generate £18 million for the local economy.

Creative industries in Cornwall, the south-west and around the country have enormous potential to help contribute to the rebalancing of our national economy. We are creating and developing things, and creating more jobs in the private sector for export all around the world. We should be proud of these industries and celebrate their continuing innovation to put the “Great” back into Britain.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Order. We have to reduce the time limit to five minutes. [Hon. Members: “Aww!”] Well, it could be four, if you wish.

4.48 pm

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield) (Lab): May I add my welcome to my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck) and congratulate her on her maiden speech? The innovation that she talked about in her constituency is similar in many ways to the passion for innovation that fired my city of Birmingham in the early days. It is there to this day and it is changing. Many of the traditional industries are still there, although they are different in the 21st century.

In addition, our creative industries are really interesting and dynamic, focusing on such things as design—from designing cars to fashion design. We see innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Custard Factory area in Digbeth and in firms such as Maverick, which is a dynamic independent company working in film and TV. We see it in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which Sir Simon Rattle made his own all those years ago, and in the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Hippodrome theatre, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to the city.

We also see it in the development of community arts. My constituency of Northfield is not normally regarded as a hotbed of the arts, but I can tell hon. Members that one of our city’s foremost poets, Spoz Esposito, a former Rover worker, is today nurturing young talent in slam poetry in schools there. There is also an arts forum in the area which this summer will provide an open-air theatre for young people aged 16 to 25.

Another name—the BBC—should be not only part of the list, but on top of it. There are good news stories. The Drama Village is the centre for the “Doctors” TV programme and other programmes might be in the pipeline. However, there is a “but”, and it is a big “but”. One of the BBC’s six public purposes is to represent different nations, regions, communities to the rest of the

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UK. What does that mean in practice? The midlands region, which has 16% of the UK’s population, receives just 2% of the BBC’s programme making. No other nation or region of the UK receives as little. Where are the midlands voices and characters on our TV screens? That is why there are legitimate calls from the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting and others for the midlands to receive its fair share.

We have heard words before—the previous Conservative leader of the council came out with a lot of words, as did the previous director-general of the BBC. However, we must go beyond words and into action. We must have investment in our people—in the writers and crews, in Equity members; actors and production talent, in our Drama Village and beyond.

We have a strong heritage—everybody still talks about the great days of Pebble Mill in the midlands—but the fanfare that accompanied the BBC’s relocation to the Mailbox has not been followed through with action. My hon. Friends the Members for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Steve McCabe), and for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Ms Stuart), and I met the director-general of the BBC to say, “Things have got to change.” The early signs have been positive, but they must lead to action.

Birmingham is one of the youngest and most diverse cities in Europe. If the BBC and other programme makers are looking to where broadcasting needs to be in the next decade, they need to look at Birmingham’s population, and at what our young people are saying today, tomorrow and next year. That means action to commission and produce more programmes in Birmingham.

It also means action from the Government. I hope that they talk to the BBC, but they must also end the growing disparity between regional investment and investment in the capital. They must also think again about the impact of their cuts to Arts Council funding and to local authorities. I want young talent to be nurtured, not snuffed out. I want the Government to help our creative industries to live up to Hamlet’s call to the arts to

“hold…a mirror up to nature”.

That means fostering our cultural ecosystem, not undermining it by neglect. Unless the Government change course, I fear the latter will happen.

4.53 pm

Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry) (Con): I begin by associating myself with what the Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale), said on the Opposition motion, which I did not have an issue with, and with what he said on the need to maintain our strong position on intellectual property.

The debate takes place at a time when “austerity” is the buzz word. Austerity is not a bad policy, but rather the result of previous bad policies. I therefore congratulate the Secretary of State on the funding settlement she managed to achieve. Many people from the arts to whom I have spoken are, like the rest of British society, fully aware that money is tight, and that they need to do their bit to help to eliminate the deficit.

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I should declare some interests. I am the vice-chairman of the all-party group on dance. I have a specific dance style—it is a bit like a spider trapped in a sink—but I will be appearing in “Strictly Daventry” on 5 July, should any hon. Members wish to come and see said style. Tickets are available online or from me afterwards.

I am also the chairman of the Northampton Theatres Trust and will spend the rest of my contribution talking about regional theatre.

The Northampton Theatres Trust has the huge Royal and Derngate theatre complex, which contains two theatres and a cinema that is just about to open. In fact, “Summer in February” will be on tomorrow as its first show. The Royal, an old-fashioned theatre, has a 583-seat capacity. The Derngate has a capacity of 12,000 seats and is a multi-purpose auditorium that can be configured for a variety of events, including theatre, opera, live music, dance, fashion and sports. Like many regional theatres, it is abuzz; it is alive with talent and fantastic creativity.

I want to demonstrate how important the theatres are to the local economy. Not long ago, in 2005, the theatres were closed for an 18-month, £14.5 million redevelopment, which saw the merging of the two venues. I reiterate that it is a fantastic complex. While the theatres were shut, the local economy of the area suffered, including the restaurants and even the local council because of the lack of parking revenues. Everybody suffered because the knock-on effect of the theatres on the local economy is so large. We must take that into account when we talk about regional theatre.

From 2006 to 2013, we had a fantastic regional artistic director in Laurie Sansom. We now have an even better one in James Dacre. To prove how important regional theatre is, in 2012-13, the Royal and Derngate presented 767 performances and welcomed 236,000 audience members, which is up a couple of thousand on the previous year. Of those, 89,000 were young people, which is up from 50,000 in the previous year. We delivered activities in schools, from drama and dance workshops to residencies by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which reached 10,000 young people. We work closely with the university of Northampton and hope to do more with it in the future. We employ 58 full-time staff and 99 part-time staff. We are part of the big society, with 127 volunteers providing 9,228 hours of voluntary support.

The income of the theatres is £7.6 million, so this is not an insignificant business. Of that income, 73% is earned income—something we want to improve—14% comes from the Arts Council and 11% comes from the local authorities, which are doing their bit. I want to thank Northampton borough council and Northamptonshire county council very much. Only 2% of our income comes from sponsorship, trusts and individual donations, which is something else that we want to improve.

We need to talk about balance and culture, but many fantastic things are going on in regional theatres up and down the country already. We should not knock them and should always be there to praise them. It has been said that there are not many decent actors from the midlands. Well, Alan Carr, who may not be an actor but is a very good comedian, and Matt Smith are just two of the people who come from Northampton. I am sure

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that there are millions more people like them across the midlands. That is why we need strong regional theatres in which they can perform.

4.58 pm

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): I congratulate my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) on choosing this subject for an Opposition day and on the timing of the debate, given the important decisions that are about to be made in the comprehensive spending review.

For the Government, arts and culture must never be a fluffy, luxury add-on, but should be central to our industrial and economic policy and to our health and well-being policy, as well as being celebrated in their own right for their unique power to inspire and speak to what makes us human. They are sectors in which Britain excels. They are our biggest export after precision engineering and financial services. No other country in the world has a bigger creative sector as a proportion of its GDP.

During the Labour Government’s years in office, the creative industries grew at more than twice the rate of our economy as a whole and they continued to grow through the global financial crisis. They were central to the industrial strategy that that Government published in response to the crisis. As we have heard from many Members, British culture benefits from our unique combination of a mixed economy of public and private support, respect for artistic freedom and innovation, and the natural creativity of the British people. I see such things daily in my constituency where, in spite of the tough climate, Exeter’s Labour council has sought to maintain support for the arts because it recognises their vital contribution to the city’s economy and quality of life.

With the help of the previous Government, Exeter invested big sums in the redevelopment of our Victorian municipal museum, and was criticised by some at the time for doing so. Last year, that museum won the prestigious national art fund prize for the best museum in the country, and we have seen a huge increase in visitor numbers and spend as a result. Just in the past few months, the museum’s new global reputation helped attract national portrait and wildlife photography competition works on tour, as well as the wonderful British Museum touring exhibition, Warriors of the Plains. Exeter sustains a brilliant edgy theatre scene, an annual theatre festival, galleries, arts cinema, as well as food and cultural festivals to celebrate the city’s diversity. All that cultural capital makes Exeter an attractive place to live and work, provides training, boosts jobs, and helps keep talented and creative people in the city, rather than losing them to Bristol or London.

I believe the Culture Secretary recognises and understands all of that, and if the reports that she fought hard to minimise the next onslaught from the comprehensive spending review are true, I congratulate her on standing up for her Department. That makes a welcome contrast to her predecessor, who almost seemed to take pride in the fact that he offered the Treasury one of the biggest cuts in the last spending review, and that he was one of the first Cabinet Ministers to settle in that review.

May I tell the Culture Secretary, through her Minister, that there are three more important battles that she must fight and win? The first is for the survival of her

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Department—I hear what she said today but I tell her, through the Minister, that the philistines will come back. The Minister knows the arguments; we cannot have a Cabinet without a strong voice for arts and culture around the table. When colleagues, and others, come back and try to abolish his Department, I recommend he suggests that there are several other Departments it would make more sense to abolish before the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Secondly, the Culture Secretary must go to battle with the Education Secretary because of his apparent desire to destroy cultural and creative subjects in our education system. We are already seeing evidence of the impact that his changes to the curriculum and performance measurement systems in schools are having on arts subjects—a worrying and dramatic decline. Will the Culture Secretary please tell the Education Secretary that a student who leaves school at 16 with two arts qualifications is more likely to get a job by the time they are 19 than one who leaves with two science qualifications? Britain’s fantastic creative economy is built on an education system that has allowed and encouraged creativity and the arts to flourish. If we lose that, we lose everything else we have talked about in this debate.

Finally, the Culture Secretary must get tough on copyright. We know what needs doing; we legislated for it collectively in the House three years ago but the Government have still not implemented those measures. Copyright theft loses the creative industries billions of pounds a year, and it if is not tackled it will have a lasting, damaging effect on our culture and economy. I do not believe that the Secretary of State or the Minister wish to leave such a legacy behind them.

5.3 pm

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe) (Con): My direct personal experience of the creative industries was shaped during the 10 years I worked in the advertising industry. Anyone who has worked in that industry is well aware of the famous remark, attributed to Lord Leverhulme, that he knew that 50% of his advertising was working but did not know which 50%. Anyone who looks at the arts and creative industries across the country can see they bring huge economic benefits, and we have heard a lot about that today.

However, the creative industries do not exist just for the economic benefit they bring but because they have intrinsic worth in their own right. There is nothing wrong with celebrating art for art’s sake. Art and creativity allow us to express ideas in a way that adds more meaning than words can simply allow. We will see that later this year when the Royal Opera House puts on the Wagner opera “Parsifal”, dealing with complex issues of sacrifice and hope. At the first Folkestone triennial arts festival in my constituency, the poignant sculpture by Tracey Emin, “Baby Things”, dealt with the difficult issues of teenage pregnancy and single parenthood in coastal towns around the country. One also thinks of Hogarth’s masterpiece, “A Rake’s Progress”, which is about the dangers that can befall someone who spends recklessly, beyond their means and with no hope of supporting themselves.

The reason that my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Chris Heaton-Harris), like my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale), the Chairman

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of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, could agree with much of the Opposition’s motion was that the motion misses out the key component of the argument being advanced by Opposition Members. Labour Members, particularly the shadow Secretary of State, talk principally about money, insinuating that there should be more money for the arts and that cuts are damaging the arts, so people following this debate might be surprised to notice that money is not mentioned at all in the motion. The nearest we get to it is where it states that the Government should ensure that the creative industries have access to finance and funding. No one is saying that funding should be cut, but Labour is not saying how much funding. Should it be more? Should cuts be reversed? Should it be extra money? There is no mention of that at all. People following the debate will wonder, “What are they getting at?”

Listening to speeches today, I was reminded of some of the works on display at the fantastic, record-breaking Damien Hirst exhibition at Tate Modern last year during the Olympic games. I was reminded, however, not of the beautiful butterfly paintings or the shark in formaldehyde, but of the striking giant ashtray filled with a lifetime’s supply of cigarette butts generated by a smoker—a large vat of ash and butts. Instead of the cigarette butts, however, it could be the spending commitments and promises made by Labour Members in defence of projects that, as they well know, they have absolutely no means of paying for or supporting.

I am not one to disagree in public with the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), but he announced today his decision on the shortlisted cities for the city of culture programme, and I congratulate the final four that made it on to the shortlist. Despite the wonderful Folkestone triennial arts festival, the wonderful new Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, Kent and the wonderful new Marlowe theatre in Canterbury, alas the east Kent bid did not make the final four. I can only imagine that he thought that east Kent was already such a towering beacon of arts and creativity in this country that it would have been unfair to give it yet another accolade. As many towns and cities have done, I am sure that we will use the experience of putting the bid together to bring together arts organisations and investors in the creative industries in our area to strengthen them all.

I congratulate the Opposition on bringing the arts and the creative industries together in the same motion, because they exist within a delicate web of business. Film studios and television production companies, which benefit from the production tax credits, also employ, directly and indirectly, other artists and creative people, be they set designers, costume makers, photographers or film makers. We see that in how the advertising industry works, not just in London but around the country, by drawing in that same wealth of talent. So, yes, support and funding for the Arts Council and from local authorities is important, but so too is having a vibrant industry of creative people working in businesses, producing and making things, generating jobs and income for this country and giving a massive boost to creativity and the arts.

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5.8 pm

Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): It is a great pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Damian Collins). His was a masterclass in how to get ahead in advertising.

It is even more of a pleasure to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw), who is no longer in his place, because last year his constituency won the museum of the year award. I must declare an interest in that I sat as a judge on the museum of the year award this year. We visited the great Narberth museum, the great Horniman museum, close to the constituency of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman), and the William Morris gallery, in the north of London, the latter winning with a great display of excellence, scholarship and curatorial skill—and this was a museum that was threatened with closure in 2007 on the grounds that William Morris had nothing to offer the modern, multicultural, urban community of Walthamstow. How wrong they were!

Arts for all is the Labour tradition. As William Morris put it in 1877:

“I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”

What we achieved in government was for the many: we increased visits by children to museums and galleries by more than 2 million; provided a solid funding infrastructure for both national and regional arts organisations; supported creativity in education through creativity partnerships; and established the spectacularly successful UK city of culture, which my hon. Friends from Liverpool will no doubt explore in greater detail.

Ian Mearns: Rather than doom and gloom, we need to celebrate the previous Government’s achievement in the arts. I remind the House that the Conservative party visited the Sage Gateshead, and that the Northern Sinfonia was last week granted the title “Royal” by Her Majesty the Queen.

Tristram Hunt: I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention. One had only to read Bagehot in The Economist last week to know of the great economic impact of the arts in the north-east, exactly on the template that Richard Florida has explained for urban economies.

Sadly, much of that achievement has been undermined by the current Government. Their assault on the British economy—stripping out demand and growth and fomenting unemployment—has hit the arts hard. They have cut the Arts Council budget by 35%, condemned philanthropists as tax dodgers and abolished the future jobs fund, which did so much to bring new talent into the arts. Meanwhile, their assault on local authority budgets has been passed down to the arts, libraries and galleries.

It is a question not just of funding, but of ethos. We have a Government who give a direct subsidy to local authorities to ensure that they can empty dustbins rather than keep galleries and libraries open—it is garbage not galleries under this Government. We have a Government who think libraries are only for luvvies and that those who are campaigning to save them are somehow misguided. What we also have is a dramatic and, frankly, Stalinist

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purge of personnel in the arts community. Sadly, we know that the Prime Minister has a terrible problem with women. We have seen the purge of Liz Forgan from the Arts Council and Baroness Andrews from English Heritage. Many of us now worry about the future of Jenny Abramsky at the Heritage Lottery Fund, who has done a great job.

Ms Harman: Or the Secretary of State.

Tristram Hunt: Indeed. We are seeing a massive loss of talent and skills from our arts sector on the back of a purge led by the Prime Minister. The lists go into Downing street and the names are struck off. Meanwhile, the poor Minister with responsibility for the arts has to trawl around the clubs and back streets of London trying to find prospective trustees for the arts community. We know that the Conservatives’ interest in the arts is a limited gene pool, and we will have deep problems in managing our arts and galleries in the future.

Another element to the philistinism of the Government has been the assault on creativity in the classroom. We in the Labour movement have always supported rigour and excellence in our classrooms, but we are a creative nation and that comes from a young age, which is why Singapore and South Korea are interested in our educational system, to foster exactly the kind of creativity that feeds into the creative arts. What we have seen from the Secretary of State for Education is an undermining of that creativity in our schools. Since the Government came to power, we have seen a fall in GCSE entries of more than 5% in design and technology, more than 6% in drama, 3.5% in music—I could go on. They have abolished the creative partnerships initiative and cut the ring-fenced school music funding by nearly 30%, and their disastrous higher education policy has seen applications for creative subjects fall by 16%.

It is not all doom and gloom, however. In north Staffordshire there is a ray of hope, and it exists in the great city republic of Stoke-on-Trent. I thank the Minister for his hard work in the past two years in trying to keep the Wedgwood museum open. We are also grateful for the support of the Victoria and Albert museum, as we try to find a way through to keep that world-class institution open. I also pay tribute to Stoke-on-Trent city council’s great achievement in winning a silver medal in the Chelsea flower show. No doubt the Communities and Local Government Secretary would regard that as a grotesque waste of money, but it was a great display of the creativity and excellence that the soil of north Staffordshire has been producing since the age of Spode and Wedgwood in the 1760s and 1770s.

Let me end with an advert. Early next year, the Potteries museum and art gallery will be opening a wonderful new exhibition on the empire of ceramics: the story of the place of Stoke-on-Tent in the history of the British empire and how its ceramics went right around the world to Melbourne, Bridgetown, Bombay and Boston, shaping global culture from north Staffordshire. That is the kind of creativity that will happen under a Labour Government.

5.14 pm

Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood) (Con): I am pleased to follow the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Tristram Hunt), but I must remind him that,

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under Labour, education and creativity were too often seen as the functions of failing schools and failing children who found strictly academic subjects to be a challenge—




That was what went on in his constituency and others. Unfortunately, he missed the point of what was going on in this debate. There has been a lot of cross-party agreement, and, as the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) said, we all recognise the contribution of the arts.

I do not want to repeat what others have said, but I must point out that a good part of the arts and the creative industries is non-subsidised. In my own town of Lancaster, I can see the cross-cultural relationship between the subsidised and non-subsidised sectors. We have three theatres. The university theatre, the Nuffield, and the Dukes theatre are subsidised by the Arts Council, but the oldest theatre, the Grand, is still commercially run and receives no subsidy. Many of the artists who flow out from Lancaster and its great university do not ask for subsidies and do not get them. Instead, they make a contribution, and we underestimate that at our peril.

To be fair to Opposition Members, most of them have made positive contributions to the debate, but some have underestimated the success of the Secretary of State and the Minister in achieving the return that they have done, and in working behind the arts. I fully support the amendment, although I would also have mentioned the support that we have given to superfast broadband, which will add a great deal to the creative industries.

I want to make a couple of points about the Arts Council. I know that Ministers inherited the previous Government’s funding of the Arts Council. I want to ask some questions as a northern Member of Parliament. The southern average per capita funding from the Arts Council is £7.93, the midlands average is £5.78, and the northern average is £4.66, yet the London average is £21.42. I accept that London has great theatres such as the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House, but the Arts Council must be questioned about the continuation of this historical funding. The Labour Government did nothing to challenge it during all their years in office.

The per capita funding for the north-west is £3.50 and the funding for Lancashire is £1.45, and we wonder why there are suggestions of a north-south divide. There seems to be an historical north-south divide in the arts as well. Lancaster has seen a decline in Arts Council funding from £674,000 to £462,000 in recent years. Most of us in Lancaster accept austerity, however, and acknowledge that we have to pay for the grand schemes that Labour attempted to pay for by borrowing in previous years.

The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central defended the leadership of the Arts Council. I tabled a number of questions to the Minister, in which I asked how much lottery funding the Arts Council got. I was told that it received £152 million in 2010-11, but spent £123 million, leaving £29 million in its pocket. Where did that money go? In 2011-12, its lottery funding was increased to £182 million, of which it spent only £115 million. That left £67 million unspent while groups in my area such as Ludus Dance, the Dukes theatre and the Nuffield theatre were suffering cuts. I know that the Arts Council is an independent, arm’s length body, but I have to ask the

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Minister some serious questions about the Arts Council’s management and the regional balance of its funding, given that, over those two years, it could afford to underspend by £96 million.

5.19 pm

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Eric Ollerenshaw). If he is looking for something to have a go at Labour about, there is only one thing he needs to refer to: the calamitous Licensing Act 2003, which introduced the disastrous three-in-a-bar rule. That came from the Labour Government.

I want to talk about the drift of the current Government. I was concerned about the response to the hon. Member for Bristol East (Kerry McCarthy) when she talked about the first major speech that the Secretary of State gave on culture and the arts, in which the right hon. Lady seemed to give the clear impression that arts spending and investment would be predicated on economic growth and would have to demonstrate an economic return for the money given. When we are talking about nations and regions, which the Labour motion mentions, thank goodness that arts management and cultural organisations are devolved in Scotland and that we will not be part of that, because we take a contrary view. We recognise the intrinsic value of the arts and heritage, and we reject the idea that the return on investment in the arts somehow needs to demonstrate economic growth. I am glad that we refuse to do that.

We have our own cultural body in Scotland: Creative Scotland. It has had a few difficulties, as I think the Minister will have noticed—we lost our first chief executive officer. We have had a healthy debate about what economic growth means when it comes to the arts, but we have resolved that. We now respect the sacrosanct value of art for art’s sake, and we have been able to combine that with economic growth, because we have to. It is essential that we get the terrain right to grow our creative sector and ensure that our cultural businesses continue to grow, and it is the job of Government to provide that.

Other speakers have mentioned this, but here in the UK we have a fantastic creative sector, whether it is music, film, television or design, but the success of these creative industries does not exist in a vacuum. There are important but fragile pillars supporting them, and that comes down to support for intellectual property and copyright protection. If we are to continue to grow those sectors, we have to ensure that that is nurtured. We are the largest producers of content in Europe and the second largest in the world after the United States. By head of population, we probably create more content than any other nation in the world. One would think that practically all our effort as a Government would be about ensuring that those industries can continue to grow, but not a bit of it. Sometimes this Government actively work with other nations that have a contrary interest on these issues. Let me say to the Minister that we have to get behind the sector.

When those in the industry turn up to speak to the Minister, they always get a positive response—they always seem to enjoy the experience of seeing him—but sometimes they are almost casually dismissed. When

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they present their case, it is almost as though they are engaged in some form of “lobbynomics”. When the Government ask for evidence, those in the industry produce it, even when, in the case of the Hargreaves report, some of the evidence supporting some of the Government’s proposed copyright exceptions was something approaching bunkum.

Sometimes it seems that the artist—the creator—and those who are prepared to invest in that talent have become a massive inconvenience that must be grudgingly accommodated and managed. The idea of the inventor or creator as the owner of important intellectual property rights is sometimes barely recognised, while it seems that whatever rights they wish to assert must be collectivised for the greater good. The creative industries are often even told that they do not understand the business environment in which they are working. They ask for protection in intellectual property when there is evidence to inform the Government, but what they get is the Government pursuing further exceptions.

We need to take a look at who has the Government’s ear when it comes to being informed on these issues: self-serving, self-appointed digital rights champions and those with extreme libertarian agendas when it comes to online issues. Practically everything that the Government do is predicated on support for, and a desire to please, massive, multi-billion dollar west coast United States companies, particularly those such as Google. I do not know why Google has such access to the Government, but it certainly does, and nearly everything the Government do to support intellectual property is predicated on their view of Google.

This is a huge industry. We have to do what we can to continue to grow it. We are brand leaders when it comes to creative sectors and some of the cultural industries that support them, but the industry is fragile. The Minister should do what he can to ensure that the measures in the Digital Economy Act 2010 are put through. That is the one thing that the Government can do. It is three years since the Act was passed, by a vast majority in this House. We have waited for it. All the legal issues are resolved and the internet service providers have been taken care of. The Minister should just get on and do it. That is the one thing that he could do to ensure that the sector is supported.

We need to ensure that we grow the sector. That could lead to re-industrialisation thanks to the imagination, talent and creativity of the people of our country. Let us do it. Let us make sure we continue to grow the sector and do what we can to support our industries.

5.24 pm

Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart). I pay tribute to him for his comments about copyright, which is a very important issue. It is also good to see that the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Tristram Hunt) is still in the Chamber. I suggest that, when he is next touring museums and judging them on their qualities, he should visit SeaCity museum in Southampton; I strongly recommend it. It is just a shame that neither Southampton nor Portsmouth succeeded in their bids to become city of culture.

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As an executive member for culture on Test Valley borough council, I spent 10 years championing arts and culture throughout the borough, and I vividly recall how important they were to its residents. Perhaps we in Hampshire are lucky to have—in the main—local authorities with a real commitment to the arts, and a thriving voluntary sector which ensures that a wide range of activities are available, not necessarily funded by the public purse, but brought together by the community. We have the brilliant Test Valley Arts foundation, which has a community outreach programme encouraging young artists, and in Romsey we have the Plaza theatre. There is a genuine appreciation of the arts in every form, and, dare I say, a love of them.

I do not want to portray the Plaza theatre as the domain of luvvies, for it is not. The Plaza theatre youth group has been one of the fastest-growing youth groups in the area, and is determined both to keep up with demand from young people and to put on an exceptionally high-quality programme of activities. The Plaza has launched an ambitious Plaza Future campaign, which is raising funds to increase the capacity of the 230-seat theatre, which already sells 10,000 tickets a year, to install a new revolving stage, and to bring the facilities of the 1930s art deco building up to the standards of the 21st century. The campaign is supported by Sir Ian McKellen and honorary patron Mark McGann. The Plaza demonstrates how a community theatre, operating with no subsidy from the local authority, can work successfully and provide a focal point for the arts in a relatively small town.

However, it is not just one theatre that provides the cultural heart of a community. In Hampshire, the arts have long been supported by town, borough and county councils. The Romsey arts festival, which is held every three years, is a great example of that, as is Rum’s Eg, a community interest company. Rum’s Eg has set up an arts and crafts gallery in Romsey, which promotes the crafts of Hampshire artists and others in the region. It has been supported not just by local authorities but by Waitrose’s community fund, which has brought private money into the arts sector. It is a great example of mixed funding, of which we have heard much this afternoon and which enables the arts to have a viable future.

Of course, Hampshire is very lucky. Formerly on the county council and now working with the Minister as national adviser on public libraries is the wonderful Yinnon Ezra, who is also one of my constituents. Perhaps it is no surprise that we have such commitment to the arts and culture in our little part of Hampshire. The pioneering Discovery Centre programme has brought major changes to the library service, and has served as a flagship in showing how to attract new audiences to libraries and bring them up to date. If we are all in this together—and I believe that we are—we should note some fantastic examples of community-run libraries in Hampshire, such as the one in North Baddesley in my constituency.

However, it is not easy, at local or national Government level, to decide on priorities and make the difficult choices when it comes to how best to spend limited resources. I was saddened by the reaction of the main opposition party on Hampshire county council to the council’s allocation of £250,000 to restore one of only two remaining first world war gunboats. HMS M33, a

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Monitor gunboat, is berthed in dry dock in Portsmouth, and, in the centenary year, provides a real link for today’s generation with the great war. Surely that is one example of exactly what a cultural budget should be spent on: projects that can link us to our history, particularly in the great naval city of Portsmouth.

Culture and the arts mean different things to different people, and what appeals to some does not necessarily float the boat of others, but there is real value in the arts, whatever form they may take. In the remaining minute available to me, I want to comment on the play, later film, “War Horse”. In my constituency, it has led to a fantastic community project involving young people making their own clay model horses. The War Horse project will hopefully provide a memorial for the town’s remount depot, which provided 120,000 horses for the great war. It is another example of a community coming together and using arts and culture to provide a lasting memorial for the future.

I could, in my remaining 20 seconds, talk about all the other fantastic examples in Hampshire. Let me, however, commend them to the Minister and, indeed, to the Secretary of State, who is from the same county as me, and who knows full well that a thriving arts and cultural sector requires mixed funding, community involvement, volunteers and seedcorn funding from the Government.

5.29 pm

Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde) (Lab/Co-op): I would like to talk about the key ways in which our cultural institutions and the creative industries that feed off them are crucial to our economy, our standing abroad and the education of our children. I believe that nowhere provides a better example of the importance of these industries than Greater Manchester, in which my constituency lies.

The late Brian Redhead, editor of the Manchester Evening Newsand presenter on the “Today” programme, once said:

“Manchester…is the capital, in every sense, of the North of England, where the modern world was born. The people know their geography is without equal. Their history is their response to it”.

Greater Manchester’s history and its future are both inseparable from its culture. The same city that hosted the largest ever art exhibition anywhere in the world in 1857 is still the thriving cultural capital of northern England today—although I appreciate our neighbours to the west may dispute that at times.

More than 20,000 people are employed in cultural businesses in Greater Manchester, the city region containing the nation’s largest concentration, outside London, of jobs in the media and creative industries. Art and creativity are woven into our economic fortunes as much as they form our city’s culture.

The value of the arts, however, is more than just a crude measure of gross domestic product. Let me provide the example of the Cornerhouse, a contemporary arts centre and independent cinema in central Manchester, which is run by my constituent, Dave Moutrey. Alongside its contemporary visual art exhibitions and the 30 titles it screens each month by independent, international and avant-garde film and documentary makers, it is also a hub for budding creative talent. Through a

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programme known as “micro-commissions”, the Cornerhouse has helped 60 budding creatives to launch their artistic careers over the last three years, with small commissions for work that get them an audience and allow them to make their first step in the industry. It is institutions such as Cornerhouse that are important both economically and culturally—not just to our city, but to our country as a whole.

Andrew Gwynne: As part of a £25 million investment in the arts, the Cornerhouse is going to be located with the Library theatre on a new site at First street in the city centre. Is that not a real testament to Manchester’s investment in the arts and in particular to how much Manchester values the Cornerhouse?

Jonathan Reynolds: Absolutely. I am as delighted as my hon. Friend and, indeed, everyone in Greater Manchester is at this exciting development, which will ensure that this site, building and institution go from strength to strength.

Culture can attract people to an area—I know that, because as a shy, young 18- year-old, the crucial factor that led me to choose to study in Manchester over anywhere else was probably my deep love of the Stone Roses, and Manchester is also home, of course, to The Smiths, Oasis, Joy Division and New Order. I could go on, but I fear I would lose some of the more venerable Members of the House!

Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) (Lab): Would not my hon. Friend like to mention the Hallé orchestra as well?

Jonathan Reynolds: Absolutely, but I do not have time to mention all of Manchester’s cultural attractions and would probably get into substantial difficulty if I tried to fit them in.

According to research by YouGov, young people from other countries are substantially more likely to be interested in work and business opportunities in the UK if they have been exposed to British art or cultural activities in some way. Our culture reaches investors and overseas markets that our diplomats and trade envoys cannot, boosting trade and encouraging foreign investment.

There is an even greater example of Greater Manchester’s cultural wealth, which until yesterday seemed to be at risk of closure. I refer, of course, to our beloved Museum of Science and Industry—MOSI—and I echo the previous remarks about it. It is a huge, universally recognised success. With between 600,000 and 800,000 visitors each year and more than 100,000 school visitors, its popularity reflects its quality. Anyone who has never been there is losing out. It is a museum for anyone who is interested in our nation’s history—anyone fascinated by stories of the extraordinary people whose remarkable feats built the Britain we know today and forged a revolution that would shape the world. It is a place of learning, inspiration and pride in our city’s —and our nation’s—industrial revolutionary past.

My favourite section of the museum, the Cottonopolis exhibition, tells the story of the cotton industry. It contains many original pieces of equipment from the

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mills, but MOSI is not just about the past, as it is also about inspiration for the future. It inspires people to remember a time of invention and technological breakthrough and the tremendous social change that followed it—and, indeed, our response to it. Every recess, I take my daughter to MOSI, and I can see a spark of inspiration in her eyes. She loves it, and so do I, and the idea of closing it down is simply unconscionable. The soul of our city is wrapped up in that museum, so it is no surprise that 40,000 people have already signed a petition organised by the

Manchester Evening News

to save it from closure. I absolutely welcome what the Minister said yesterday, but for me there is still some uncertainty about those remarks. Will he specifically address the situation of the northern museums and assure us all that they are safe from closure?

Our cultural institutions are invaluable educational resources and powerful economic multipliers. We must not overlook the value of museums like MOSI in the difference they make to the education of our children and the inspiration they give to greatness. We must protect the cultural hubs in our regions—the museums, the galleries, the music venues—because they are the breeding grounds of the cultural icons who become global adverts for our country, its economy and the opportunities within it. They spark the imagination of our children, foster the talents of our creative people and capture the attention of the whole world. We must not allow those opportunities to wither on the vine.

5.34 pm

Mike Weatherley (Hove) (Con): First, I draw the attention of Members to my declared interests.

The creative industries are our lifeblood. This is the third largest sector after manufacturing and financial services, but manufacturing is in decline, as we know, and financial services could move elsewhere at the drop of a hat. We are magnificent at the creative industries. They employ 1.5 million people and add £36 billion to the UK economy, and 10% of UK exports derive from the creative industries, but they are under threat from weak intellectual copyrights.

Let me explain. A Member of the other place once said to me he considers it to be the patriotic duty of every person who creates music to put it on the internet for free within two weeks. At the Vilnius UN Internet Governance Forum, which the Pirate party attended, many people said, “The internet is too complicated. Let’s just give everything away for free.” We must not do that; we must resist all attempts to do that. Instead, we must strengthen intellectual copyrights.

There are three steps to doing that. The first is the carrot. We need to change the business models. Kids will pay if they have the opportunity to do so, but if we make it too difficult, they will go elsewhere, to the free sites. The second step is education. Members may be aware of my competition, Rock the House. Over 300 constituencies are now involved in it, and the finals are next week. It educates MPs and the public at large. They see young bands putting forward their music, and they understand that those contributions need protecting. The Intellectual Property Office has a programme for extending education about intellectual property around the country, but I urge the Government to beef it up to give it more importance and make it more dynamic.

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Thirdly, if the carrot and education fail, we must resort to the stick. I ask the Government to push forward with the proposals in the Digital Economy Act 2010. No matter how hastily it was pushed through under the last Government, we should still be looking to implement its good parts.

There are things we can do in respect of credit cards, too. One publishing company has all its product copied in an eastern European country, and people can pay for it through a monthly £10 subscription via a credit card, but the company does not see a penny of it. The credit card companies must be held accountable. Search engines must also be held accountable, and if internet service providers have been told they should block a certain site and they do not do so, they must be accountable, too. The stick must be a final resort, but it must be used if necessary.

I ask the Government to look at the practicality of the copyright extension measures. I was chatting to someone at Universal Music who said that the rules are impractical given the way that some of them are being implemented. I also ask them to consider secondary ticketing rules, which have been admirably championed by the hon. Member for Washington and Sunderland West (Mrs Hodgson), and urge swifter progress with the Digital Economy Act proposals.

However, having said all that, I do think the Government are basically on the right track and have made good progress on the creative sector. I mentioned live music in licensed premises earlier, and how the maximum attendance figures are being increased from 100 to 200 and up to 500. That is good; it will support pubs in our communities and live music in the creative sector. We are on the right track, therefore, so I will support the amendment.

5.39 pm

Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) (Lab/Co-op): I am sure the Minister is aware that today is the first day of the Edinburgh international film festival, which is just one of a number of film festivals around the UK. The Edinburgh festival will this year have 146 films from 53 countries. That serves to demonstrate the interest there is in film across the UK. Film festivals are important, and they drive that interest in film in the UK.

I want to speak briefly about a different film festival in Scotland—the Glasgow film festival. It is not a rival to the Edinburgh film festival, which is largely industry-driven, as Glasgow’s is a strongly, and highly successful, audience-led festival which has taken place over the past 10 years—I believe next year’s will be the 10th. Fortunately for me, the festival has coincided exactly with the February recess in the past couple of years, which has meant that I have been able to enjoy a number of its films.

Mr Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) (Lab): I welcome what my hon. Friend is saying. I know that he is a keen supporter of the Glasgow film theatre, as am I, because I was involved when it was opened and when I was assistant director of the Scottish Film Council. Does he feel that the renaissance of the British and Scottish film industry owes a great deal to the former Chancellor and Prime Minister, my right hon.

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Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown), who rightly judged the need for tax concessions?

Tom Greatrex: Of course, my right hon. Friend is too modest to mention his own role in that as a distinguished former film Minister during that period. I hope to get time to make a point about the enduring nature of that support and the importance of its continuing into the future.

First, I wish to make a couple more remarks about the Glasgow film festival. My hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Jim Sheridan) talked about the contribution of film making to the city of Glasgow. At last year’s festival, I saw “Cloud Atlas” and it was interesting to see streets just three or four blocks away from where I was sitting being represented as 1970s San Francisco. That demonstrates the ability and technical expertise in the film industry. The Drovers Inn, on the A84, where I have spent many a Hogmanay, was also in that film. It was not the greatest of films, but it was interesting to see. Those things are an indicator of the ability of Glasgow as a city, and as a city region in the west of Scotland, to drive that interest and investment in film, and of the greater contribution that film development makes to the wider economy. A number of people are in the city centre when some of these films are being made, just to see that happening. People came in during the early hours of the morning, when the streets were being shut off and the American taxis were around George square. It was amazing, and it really caught the interest and imagination of people.

The Glasgow film festival is a regional one and it has applied for lottery funding, to which the Government amendment refers. I place on the record that that support is very valued and I know it has been heavily oversubscribed. I am sure that the announcements are due soon and I hope that Glasgow will be successful. The film festival brings in very many people. It brings in not only people from in and around Glasgow, such as myself, but people from outwith Glasgow, from more widely in the UK and from overseas. The boost that that brings to the wider economy in terms of tourism and the hospitality industry is tangible and recognised, and it has helped to generate some sponsorship to go alongside the funding that the festival needs. It does need funding to be able to continue to bring that festival to life each year. I pay huge tribute to Jaki McDougall, Allison Gardner, Allan Hunter, Seonaid Daly and all the others who have been involved in the film festival over the past few years and have built it up to be the fastest-growing film festival in the whole UK. It certainly does deserve the support of lottery funding and the British Film Institute because of its approach.

For those reasons, I wanted to touch on the BFI-commissioned report by Oxford Economics indicating the very real contribution that film brings to the wider economy. This debate is about the economic contribution, and a huge amount comes to the UK through the film industry. We are talking about: 117,000 jobs; British film’s 15% share of the worldwide box office; the £1.7 billion in royalties in 2011 from British films shown overseas; and £2.1 billion in visitor spend in the UK from film tourism. So the industry has made a huge contribution, and it has been successful largely because of policies that developed over time—policies from the previous

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Government that have so far been continued. My right hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill (Mr Clarke) made that point very well. That has happened because of that support, which must continue. The wider economic and cultural benefits are clear to see. I want to see many more representations of Glasgow as San Francisco and actors as zombies, to repeat the clarification that my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Jim Sheridan) made earlier, so that I do not offend any of my constituents. Those benefits can come about only with sustained and continued support for the film sector. It is vital. It brings so much culturally and economically, and many are concerned that in the drive to reduce support for arts, the film industry will suffer, although it provides a great deal that we should all be hugely proud of.

5.45 pm

Steve Rotheram (Liverpool, Walton) (Lab): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your indulgence. I had to pop out of the Chamber at the beginning of the debate for a long-standing parliamentary engagement.

Given the time constraints, I shall make three quick points about why Liverpool has kept its clear commitment to the cultural sector, despite the unacceptable budgetary pressures foisted on it by this coalition Government. First—I speak from the unique perspective of having been the Lord Mayor of Liverpool during our year as the European capital of culture—it is evident that the creative industries and tourism continue to drive economic well-being at a time when the ability of pubic bodies to spend money on the sector has, unfortunately, been significantly reduced.

Secondly, during 2008 I saw at first hand arts and culture used as a catalyst for the creation of tangible benefits across the city, which included its physical transformation, infrastructural improvement and economic regeneration. In so doing, the creative industries brought about a civic pride and a renewed collective confidence that engaged people and inspired them to participate in imaginative activities. I do not mind admitting that I had never truly appreciated Gustav Klimt, for instance, until an exhibition of his works at the Tate gallery in Liverpool opened my eyes. I, like many hundreds of thousands of people, had their appetites whetted and to this day we are seeing record numbers of visitors in our museums and galleries across the city. I think we are the only city in the UK to build a brand-new museum in the past 80-odd years, with the development of the purpose-built museum of Liverpool on the world-famous banks of our waterfront. The net result was that culture in its widest sense helped draw disparate sections and generations of our community together and provided a focus for creativity, education and health and well-being.

But the progress that we have made is in severe danger, and this is my third point. The arts in the regions are under threat and they will remain in a critical condition until the Government outline a clear strategic vision of how they intend to support the arts and creative sector across the whole country. Unfortunately, there remains uncertainty about whether the arts in the regions will be able to sustain themselves and in some cases even survive, let alone expand their visitor offer. This is not simply an arts question that can be dismissed

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by the Minister and nonchalantly passed over to the Arts Council to deal with. I agree with arts for all, but this is a fundamental economic question about the role of individual cities and organisations within those cites, that both provide jobs and attract inward investment to places outside the capital.

We have seen today that it is only the Labour party that is making the economic, business, educational and council-led argument for the sector. The acute danger for Liverpool and the whole of England, which the Government must begin to address, is that the scenario in which large swathes of city centres could become devoid of theatres, galleries and other cultural institutions is becoming ever more real. The Government must establish and promote a clear vision for the role of culture and creativity in UK cities and recognise that London is the world leader in the field—we do not argue with that—and its ability to generate money through philanthropic contributions is far greater than cities such as Liverpool. In fact, philanthropy remains one of the killer ingredients in the funding cocktail for regional arts organisations. According to the latest arts and business private investment in culture survey, which was released last month, more than 90% of all private giving goes to arts organisations in London. By anyone’s standards, that is phenomenally disproportionate. It is time for leadership for the regions, and it is time for the three Ministers, all representing seats in the south-east, to think again about the regional implications of their cuts before large parts of the cultural sector in cities such as Liverpool are lost forever.

5.50 pm

Lyn Brown (West Ham) (Lab): I will not talk about the wider economic benefit of regeneration by the use of culture, which I hope will be demonstrated in my constituency and which is admirably demonstrated by many other places around the country, particularly in Gateshead. I am particularly impressed by how it has used cultural services to regenerate an area. Instead, I want to focus my remarks on libraries. Any debate about the arts and creative industries worth its name must include a focus on libraries, contributing as they do so fundamentally to social mobility, literacy and skills development, creative and cultural activity, building economic capacity and helping to safeguard intellectual property. Sitting at the heart of our communities, public libraries are for everyone. They enrich lives and support the wider arts and creative industries, and our economic well-being.

I want to give three examples of why I believe that libraries are so important and why I am absolutely passionate about them. First, they are a gateway for personal development. They fuel aspiration and creativity and they contribute to economic capacity. Secondly, they bring people together in a way that other institutions simply cannot do. They are a safe space where people can congregate. They build the fabric of our communities. They are a real communal space that is free for all. Thirdly, they are a means to reduce social exclusion, which in itself carries an economic benefit for our communities.

Mr Steve Reed (Croydon North) (Lab): My hon. Friend makes a powerful defence of public libraries. Does she share my concerns about Croydon council,

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which is not only proposing to privatise its libraries, but to hand them over to the bidder that offered the worst value for money of the three bids that it received?

Lyn Brown: I am sad to hear that about Croydon libraries. I visited Croydon libraries in my role as a Local Government Association libraries spokesperson and I thought that they were rather good. That they are being privatised is distressing, especially given that the previous Tory Government did not go that far with its compulsory competitive tendering. It is a real shame that Croydon feels that that is where it needs go.

Libraries make such a contribution to our economy and society that spending on them should be seen as an investment. They host job clubs and Open university access. They provide computer training and internet access for families and micro-businesses that would otherwise be excluded. They provide literacy and numeracy classes that help combat disadvantage and allow people to thrive. All of that is at the grassroots level, at the heart of our very community.

Yet libraries are under more stress than ever before. On top of library closures, surveys uncover reduced hours, higher charges and less outreach to schools. School holiday activities are being cut and volunteers are replacing trained, skilled library staff, as if a librarian is like someone at a checkout counter at Asda or Morrisons. Being a librarian is so much more than just giving out a book.

But my main focus today is to talk to the Minister about how libraries might be developed and safeguarded in the future, in the context of a strategy for the arts and creativity. Libraries absolutely deserve leadership, attention and support, and I am concerned that they are not getting them.

Ministers will recall breaking up the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. I must say that I did not mourn the passing of that organisation, but I am disappointed that the Government reduced the libraries budget that was transferred to Arts Council England and think that they missed a trick. I believe that they should have followed the approach widely advocated in the sector at the time by establishing a development agency. It would have been quite realistic to do that within the available financial envelope and would have made a better and more effective use of the moneys that previously went to the MLAC.

Indeed, it has been argued that such a development agency could provide the leadership that would enable local library services to make the necessary savings or to demonstrate their contribution to the wider social good in a way that allowed councils to understand their economic and social value. I want to see a development agency created because I think that we need confident leadership of our libraries in order to secure future library evolution, the development of our libraries and the success of a modern library service in England.