City leaders call for more support for their cultural sector

Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council

The leader of Hull City Council and the portfolio holder for leisure and culture have written to the Government asking for support for the city’s cultural, arts and heritage industries.

In a letter to Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Councillors Stephen Brady and Dave Craker reference the “enormous” development and growth of Hull’s cultural offer and reputation following its title of UK City of Culture in 2017, and the importance of protecting its legacy.

The letter reads: “We want to ensure that we protect the legacy of creativity that has emerged in our arts and cultural industries which are part of the very fabric of the city’s newfound vibrancy.”

Recently Hull City Council took the decision to extend the Discretionary Grant Fund to the creative arts and media sector, believed to be the first decision of its kind in the UK.

This has facilitated £200,000 of grant funding to local arts and cultural industries.

The councillors’ letter continues: “Our creative and arts sector responded very positively to our decision and have told us that it has been hugely beneficial to support some organisations to keep operating.”

The letter welcomes the Government’s decision to fund a £1.57bn rescue package to help these industries, but highlights that in recent weeks the impact of Coronavirus has already resulted in the closure of a number of live music and performing arts venues in Hull, stating that “their closure will be a huge loss to our local cultural offer.”

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