I was joined by colleagues of the Labour Towns Group to advance the case for a new Town of Culture award with the Minister of State for Culture this week.
This meeting follows the Westminster Hall debate, which was secured myself in January of this year. The proposal would emulate the success of the City of Culture award.
The British City of Culture scheme was first proposed by the UK Labour Government in 2009. It has proven to be of huge value to our cities. The last recipient of the award, Hull, estimates that the programme generated £60million in 2017 from visitor income and £220million additional investment. It generated 800 new jobs and saw 5million visitors.
Liverpool, one of the first holders of the title ‘City of Culture’, found that 44% of its residents expressed a positive response to the programme as it made them feel proud of where they lived. Read more “Town of Culture Award – Ministerial meeting”
In the UK Government’s 2017 General Election manifesto they promised millions of older households that people over 75 would keep free TV licences until the end of this Parliament – that is, until 2022.
But the UK Government outsources responsibility, and the financial costs of this policy, to the BBC. Free TV licences are set to be curtailed or cut completely from 2020 as the UK Government have provided no additional resources to the BBC to continue this policy.
If these free TV licences are scrapped it will mean 5,130 people in Delyn will lose their concession. During my frontbench colleagues opening remarks I pointed out that if we lose free TV licences for over-75s it will not be the UK Government breaking a promise from two years ago but 22 years. They promised that they would support our legislation when we introduced it and they must be held to account for their actions.
I recently secured a debate in Westminster Hall which called on the UK Government to establish a new ‘Town of Culture’ award. This award would operate in a similar way to the City of Culture Award and would give winning towns investment into the arts and culture scene in their locality.
The idea for the ‘Town of Culture’ award was created by the Labour Towns Group, a group made up of Labour MPs who represent towns in England, Wales and Scotland.
The City of Culture Award has proven to be of huge value to our cities. The last recipient of the award, Hull, estimates that that programme generated £60 million in 2017 along from visitor income and additional drive. It generated 800 new jobs, 5 million visitors and £220 million of additional investment. Read more “Westminster Hall Debate: Town of Culture Award”
I have joined with other MPs to call for a new ‘Town of Culture’ award to be established to help regenerate local areas. MPs have published an open letter to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport requesting for the matter to be discussed further.
Currently, towns are eligible to apply for the ‘City of Culture’ award, but they struggle to put forward a bid that can compete with the larger cities that also compete for the award. Cities have the resources they need to put forward a bid and towns would be greatly supported if they had their own category.
The letter states: Read more “Town of Culture award”