Dr Spencer Pitfield is the National Voluntary Director of the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF).
The Conservative Policy Forum has just released its latest national policy discussion paper, ‘Arts, Culture and the Government’, to CPF groups across the country. As you know, an innovative, challenging and exciting arts and culture sector in a strong Britain benefits us all socially and economically.
This is why, despite the difficult economic situation we inherited from Labour, this Government remains steadfast in its support of the arts. Since 2010 we have taken practical action to support the arts: we have increased lottery funding to the arts by £100 million a year; developed the catalyst fund to encourage organisations to build endowments for the first time; introduced lifetime giving and the cultural gift scheme; maintained free access to museums in the toughest economic climate for almost a century; launched a national music education plan; developed a national cultural education plan; introduced tax credits for film, television and animation; announced tax credits for video games; overseen the establishment of Creative England and the Creative Industries Council.
There is more to be done to support arts and culture as we head into the next Parliament though. In particular, the Government should continue to: encourage mixed funding for the arts, including philanthropic giving and fundraising, alongside public funding; invest strategically in increasing access and provision in the regions; encourage young people to get involved in the arts; promote Britain’s cultural reputation abroad; and help our creative industries thrive.
The CPF would welcome your views on how a Conservative majority government can continue to support arts and culture in these, and other, ways in the next Parliament. The brief and response form are available – as always – on our website. The closing date for submissions is 30 June.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to announce that Tiz Baskerville has taken over the role of CPF Vice Chairman (voluntary). Tiz is well-known to members across the country and we are sure she will do a fantastic job. Tiz has taken over from Charles Heslop, who has stepped down as an Officer of the National Convention. On behalf of all our team – both voluntary and professional, and the many thousands of CPF members across the country, we would like to thank Charles for everything he has done this last year to make sure that the CPF has become such a national success.