The Conservative Party has promised more support for regional arts if it wins the general election.
In its manifesto, released on May 18, the party describes British arts and culture as “world-beating” and at the heart of the regeneration of modern Britain.
The manifesto says: “We will continue our strong support for the arts, and ensure more of that support is based outside London.”
However, the manifesto does not mention any specific funding figures for the arts, in contrast to the Labour Party which promised a £1 billion culture fund.
It pledges to move significant numbers of public servants out of London and the South East to other UK cities, including arms-length bodies, of which Arts Council England is one.
“For our civil service and major cultural bodies to claim to be UK institutions, they need to represent and be present across our whole United Kingdom,” the manifesto adds.
“It is also wrong that while some of our major cultural institutions have made efforts to gain a presence across the UK, others have not. We will put this right.”
The Conservatives go on to promise a cultural development fund for communities, and reaffirms a commitment to the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, which will celebrate arts and engineering in the region.
Additionally, the party pledges to “promote British culture around the world”.
Elsewhere in its manifesto, the Conservatives promise to increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion. This follows concerns from within the cultural sector that arts subjects and teachers are being sidelined owing to budget cuts.
The manifesto also pledged to improve the country’s technical education and create new technical institutions.
Elsewhere, the manifesto also promises more rights and protections for self-employed people working in the ‘gig’ economy, and pledges to simplify the tax system.
Earlier this year the government dropped plans to increase national insurance levels for the self-employed following an intense backlash.
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