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Delivery Agreements

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

4. When he last met Arts Council England’s chief executive to discuss delivery agreement monitoring; and what the outcomes of that meeting were. (212569)

The Secretary of State and I have regular meetings with the chair and the chief executive of the Arts Council. We will meet them at the beginning of July to discuss the new three-year funding agreement and arrangements for monitoring.

Brighton and Hove arts commission has benefited from Arts Council England and Millennium Commission funding over the past few years, which has made a huge difference. The making a difference programme itself has put on nearly 2,000 performances and 300 events. Will the Minister tell me how she believes such funding will benefit not only the cultural diversity of my city but the run-up to the cultural Olympiad in 2012?

We are very proud of our record of investment in culture. Two out of three people nowadays go to a performance of some kind every year. All the figures show that, with a real-terms increase in spending, people’s participation and enjoyment of cultural experiences has more than doubled. Much of the work over the last decade or so—and, indeed, the work that we will be taking forward—has been to widen the pool of people who enjoy culture. Many who were perhaps disadvantaged in the past are now getting the benefit of that. In my visits to theatres, concerts, art exhibitions and dance performances, I am increasingly proud of the growing diversity of the audience and of the participation in those media.