City urges Labour to support culture to drive UK economic recovery

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City urges Labour to support culture to drive UK economic recovery
Image source Unsplash

The City of London Corporation has called on the Labour Party to back the cultural sector to drive the footfall needed to underpin a sustainable UK economic recovery.

The call comes as the City Corporation held a private roundtable with the Fabian Society at this year’s Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

It explored the ways in which cities cans support the recovery of the cultural sector post-pandemic. It will also examine how the Government can help support the cultural sector through the cost-of-living crisis.

The ‘Culture in Economic Recovery: rebuilding culture, arts, and heritage after the pandemic’ fringe event featured contributions from leading political figures including Shadow Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Music, Jeff Smith and Policy Chairman at the City Corporation, Chris Hayward.

The event was chaired by Ben Cooper, senior researcher at the Fabian Society, and bring together voices from the cultural sector around the country to discuss how to rebuild arts and culture post-pandemic, and the role it has in boosting local economies.

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The City Corporation launched Destination City earlier this year, an ambitious new programme to reimagine the Square Mile as a world-leading destination for workers, visitors, and residents.

As part of the programme the City Corporation is investing £2.5 million annually to drive the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic.

It builds on a long track record of cultural investment in the Square Mile. The City Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK, investing over £130 million every year.

The City Corporation is also working with the private sector to create Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), new commercial and cultural partnerships to entice people to the Square Mile.

Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, said: “The cultural sector has had an incredibly difficult few years. It was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine has led to huge increases in costs.

“The City Corporation believes that arts, culture, and heritage must play a vital role in our economic revival. We are playing our part with our bold Destination City campaign which will transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.

“We now call on the Labour Party to back this sector to drive a sustainable economic recovery. As one of the cultural capitals of the world, London is well-placed to work in partnership with other cities to boost the sector.

“We want to work with the Labour Party to realise this vision for the benefit of all.”

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