Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Party General Election Launch, 9th May 2017 at Event City, Trafford, Manchester. Author: Sophie Brown, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Labour launches culture manifesto

Nicola Sullivan, 24.05.2017
Labour launches a standalone culture manifesto
The Labour Party has launched a standalone culture manifesto, which outlines a number of initiatives designed to increase creative opportunities.
 
Speaking at the party’s launch of the manifesto in Hull, leader Jeremy Corbyn set out Labour’s policy programme to “inspire creativity”.
 
He said the party is pledging £1bn to launch a new Cultural Capital Fund to support cultural industries “savaged by Conservative cuts”.
 
The fund will be used to upgrade existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country.  Administered by Arts Council England, the fund will be available over a five-year period, and will focus on projects that could increase museums’ and galleries’ income and viability.
 
Corbyn also announced the introduction of an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England – a £160m annual boost for schools to invest in projects that will support cultural activities for schools over the longer term.
 
“Over the last ten years in London alone 40% of small venues have closed,” Corbyn said. “And this Conservative government has made matters even worse for artists. Since 2010 they have slashed £48m of [arts] funding to England, Wales and Scotland.
 
“There is creativity in all of us. Labour’s mission will be to set free that creativity.”
 

Manifesto watch: political parties’ policies that affect arts and culture
 
 
Conservatives

Ensure more of the support for the arts is based outside London.

Maintain free entry to the permanent collections of major national museums and galleries, and introduce a new cultural development fund to use cultural investment to turn around communities.

Work with the nation’s most eminent museums and galleries to ensure their works and expertise are shared across the country.
 
Reduce immigration from outside the European Union.
 
Toughen the visa requirements for students, and expect students to leave the country at the end of their course, unless they meet new, higher requirements that allow them to work in Britain.
 
Continue with the fiscal rules announced by the chancellor in his autumn statement last year.
 
Deliver a “smooth” and departure from the European Union.
 
Will seek to replicate all existing EU free trade agreements and support the ratification of trade agreements entered into during our EU membership.
 
Make longer-term reforms to the system to address concerns about the way the business rates revaluation system currently works.
 

Labour

Put the creative sector at the heart of negotiations and future industrial strategy as Britain leaves the EU.

Introduce a £1bn fund to upgrade existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country.  Administered by Arts Council England, the fund will be available over a five-year period, and will focus on projects that could increase museums’ and galleries’ income and viability.

End cuts to local authority budgets to support the provision of libraries, museums and galleries.

Widen the reach of the Government Art Collection so that more people can enjoy it and will continue to mark the ongoing centenary of the first world war.

Introduce an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England.

Review the EBacc performance measure to make sure arts are not sidelined from secondary education.

Launch a creative careers advice campaign in schools to demonstrate the range of careers and opportunities available, and the skills required in the creative industries, from the tech sector to theatre production.

Work with trade unions and employers to agree sector-specific advice and guidelines on pay and employment standards that will make the sector more accessible to all.
 
Introduce a package of reforms to business rates.
 
Guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in EU countries.
 
Abolish the government’s Brexit White Paper and replace it with a document with a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union.
 

Liberal Democrats
 
Allow the electorate to vote on the final Brexit deal in a referendum, with the alternative option of staying in the EU on the ballot paper. The Liberal Democrats believe that there is no deal as good for the UK outside the EU as the one it already has as a member.
 
Press for the UK to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK, and call for the overhaul and simplification of the registration process and the requirements for EU nationals to obtain permanent residence and UK citizenship.
 
Any deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU must ensure that trade can
continue without customs controls at the border, and must maintain membership of the single market and protect freedom of movement.  
 
Devolve further fiscal powers to the devolved governments.
 
Green Party
 
Pledges to campaign for a public vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal, including an option to stay in the EU.

Protect freedom of movement, press for remaining within the single market, and safeguard vital rights for people and the environment.

Immediately guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK and urgently seek reciprocal arrangements for UK citizens in the EU.

 
Sinn Féin
 
Reform the EU
 
Award Northern Ireland to have a designated special status within the EU, which would preserve access to the Single Market and Customs Union, freedom of movement and EU funding streams. 
 
Sinn Féin believes there should be a referendum vote on Irish unity within the next five years.

Scottish National Party (SNP)

Demand that Scotland remains in the single market.

Protect the rights of EU nationals by calling for devloved immigration powers.

Demand an end to austerity and introduce a plan to repair public finances.

Fight to protect the Barnett formula as long as Scotland's budget continues to be determined by Westminster.

If the SNP wins a majority of Westminster seats in Scotland then there will be a “triple lock” for another referendum on independence following its victory at last year's Holyrood election and the Scottish Parliament vote for talks on getting powers for an independence vote.

The SNP is providing the Museums Journal with more information on its policies on arts and culture, and this article will be updated shortly. 
 
Plaid Cymru

Double the funding for Visit Wales and cut tourism VAT to put Wales ahead in the international tourism market.
 
Guarantee the rights of all Europeans currently living and working in Wales.
 
Secure the money promised to Wales by the Leave campaign.

This story will be updated with information from other political parties' manifestos as soon as they are published.

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