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Creative Industries Sector Deal

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2018

I congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your ruling that facial chuntering is not in fact a form of chuntering. I am sure that hon. Members on both sides of the House will be delighted to take that into account in future.

As for the creative industries sector deal, Sir Peter Bazalgette’s review forecast that the creative industry deal will increase exports, sustain growth, boost jobs and narrow the productivity gap between the south-east and the rest of the UK. The deal launched only on 28 March, so it is in its early stages, but I will be carefully monitoring it and working with the industry to ensure that the deal delivers the expected benefits.

How can the creative industry sector deal benefit local economies and communities across the country, particularly in Mid Derbyshire?

My hon. Friend is always talking about Mid Derbyshire and how the University of Derby supports the creative industries sector. She has told me about Mr Paul Cummins, a very creative chap who was responsible for the Tower of London poppies, which went all over the world. The creative industries sector has a £2.5 million regional development fund, managed through a strategic action plan, which is exactly what my hon. Friend is talking about. Her local enterprise partnership is involved, and the university is working with businesses in the area, including small and medium-sized enterprises in the creative and digital industries, to aid local job creation in areas such as Cromford Mills in her constituency.

I commend to the Minister the excellent article by one of our finest musicians, Howard Goodall, who is not from Wrexham but is very welcome to visit, recounting the difficulty he had in performing his work in the United States. Does the Minister agree that the creative industries plan will be fatally undermined if we do not have an agreement with the EU to allow the free movement of musicians and other creative artists?

I am sure that Howard Goodall will be delighted to visit Wrexham after he has been to Watford. I am sure the point about being able to work and live in the European Union will be taken into consideration in the negotiations ahead, and I would not like the European Union, after we leave, to be deprived of a man with such talent.