Gosport MP champions local support for UK artists and culture in Parliamentary debate

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THE MP for Gosport led a Parliamentary debate on the UK’s cultural sector this week, urging the minister to ‘leave no stone unturned’.

Dame Caroline Dinenage, former Minister of State for Culture, spoke of the importance of culture and creativity to the local and national economy, driving exports, and on soft power on the international stage.

Caroline focused on the economic value of the creative industries and called for the government to develop a supportive policy environment, in which the cultural industry can flourish.

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Referencing the success of Gosport Gallery, part of Hampshire Cultural Trust, Dame Caroline praised current government schemes such as High Street Heritage Action Zones, but cautioned against tokenism in plans to relocate institutions such as the English National Opera, while cutting their funding, which risks undermining their great work across the country.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage. 
Picture: Richard TownshendGosport MP Caroline Dinenage. 
Picture: Richard Townshend
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage. Picture: Richard Townshend

She also spoke of a Smart Fund proposal, which would safeguard freelance creators on the digital landscape, as has been done in over 45 countries. This would help support creators, as well as providing a boost to the economy.

Speaking in the debate, Dame Caroline said: ‘It feels like as a country we haven’t always supported or nurtured our world leading creative talent as we should, or understood our arts and culture for the golden economic goose that it is.

‘Our artists and our creatives have a unique power. They can lift spirits and improve well-being, they can regenerate communities and promote levelling up, they can drive economic prosperity, and turbo-charge global trade. No other sector can do all of those things.’

‘I would urge the Minister to leave no stone unturned in efforts to harness that potential.’