Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced today, following the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s publication of a white paper on culture, that all arts organisations that receive public money must show they are reaching out and increasing access for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to help find the stars of tomorrow and open arts and culture up for all.

 

The Culture White Paper the government said: ‘aims to boost access to arts, heritage and culture to help improve social mobility and increase life chances across the country’.

 

The white paper sets out an expectation for the first time that every government-funded museum, theatre, gallery, opera house and arts group should reach out to everyone, regardless of their background and ACE tasked with providing regular reports to Government on the progress being made. “Our arts, heritage and culture should be for all – not just the privileged few. Culture opens doors, improves social mobility and has a huge impact on life chances,” said Vaizey. “This bold new vision will put culture firmly at the heart of everyday life and ensure that everyone, no matter what their background, can access and enjoy our incredible arts and culture. It can also help us discover untapped talent that could become Britain’s future stars in these vibrant sectors.”

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We welcome the publication of the Government’s White Paper – the first for the arts since Jennie Lee’s in 1965. It contains a number of proposals that we look forward to helping Government deliver, many of which complement existing Arts Council work to promote diversity and improve access to arts and culture for children and young people

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair, ACE

As part of the white paper there the DCMS plans to conduct a wide-ranging review into the museums sector that will examine local and regional museums, Government-sponsored museums and the museums infrastructure nationally. This will also focus on museums’ digital services and storage and is the first DCMS review of the sector in more than ten years and will be completed by summer 2017. Tailored reviews into the Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund will also be carried out the white paper says.

As well as this there will be changes to funding with a new virtual Commercial Academy for Culture being set up, which will work with cultural organisations to boost commercial expertise across the cultural sectors. More than £60m of funding is being made available to help cultural organisations improve resilience. This is made up of £26 million ACE strategic funding until 2018; £10m HLF grants in 2016/17 for a new round of endowments, and £7m annual resilient heritage funding. A total of £30m resilience funding is also available for museums until 2018. Arts and heritage groups will be able to apply to be part of a pilot exploring how they can benefit from matched crowdfunding and grow this new funding stream.

A new Great Place Scheme will then bring national arts and heritage Lottery funders together to make culture a core part of local authority plans and policies. ACE, HLF and Historic England will work with councils, cultural organisations, universities and other stakeholders to increase access to culture locally, support jobs, economic growth, education, health and wellbeing.

To further promote youngsters’ inclusion in the arts a new Cultural Citizens Programme has also been launched to enable thousands of children from communities from across the country unrivalled behind-the-scenes access to the sector. The planned four-year programme will give children from up to 70 areas across the country opportunities to have new cultural experiences, including meeting actors, curators and designers to inspire them to engage with our incredible arts and culture. ACE will begin a pilot this year in the North West, North East and West Midlands in areas where attendance at cultural events is low. This will then expand to include 14,000 young people across the country.

“We welcome the publication of the Government’s White Paper – the first for the arts since Jennie Lee’s in 1965. It contains a number of proposals that we look forward to helping Government deliver, many of which complement existing Arts Council work to promote diversity and improve access to arts and culture for children and young people,” said Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair, ACE. “Along with [the] Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, this White Paper is a vote of confidence in the arts and cultural sector and the contribution it makes to all our lives.”

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White Paper Quick Facts

  • White paper created following consultation with over 230 organisations across England
  • Includes new expectation from Government that all publicly-funded arts organisations must increase access for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Thousands of children from poorer families to benefit from new cultural scheme giving them behind-the-scenes access to the arts
  • Great Place scheme will put culture at the centre of local decision-making
  • Reviews of Museums, Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund to begin