Today in Parliament MPs are debating the arts and creative industry. I can’t be there as I’m on maternity leave but if I could, I know I would be proud to speak in the debate championing the fantastic museums, galleries, theatres and creative businesses we have in the city.
The arts and creative industries are a great Manchester success story. They make a huge contribution to our city and region. Labour supported the arts in Government and the City Council continues to invest in getting the best out of the arts for local people.
This Government however, has threatened the arts. We’ve seen this over the last couple of weeks with the dire warnings from the Science Museum Group about the possible closure of northern museums which have seen a 25% drop in funding on David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s watch.
It is shameful that our own Museum of Science and Industry, part of the Science Museum Group was ever under threat. It makes a fantastic contribution to cultural life in the city and is a fantastic resource for parents and schools. It helps our tourist trade in the city thrive and is a boost to our economy.
Whilst I’m glad that the Culture Minister made a commitment yesterday to safeguard the future of the Museum of Science and Industry I’m calling on the Minister to pledge to the people of Manchester that the museum will remain free at the point of use. The Government must ensure that the funding used to support the museum and the Group is enough to keep the museum free for visitors.
I’m backing the arts and creative industry in our city. It’s time the Government did the same.