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Society and Culture Society and Culture

Ensure our cultural assets reach people around the country

Last updated: 08:20pm 11 December 2019

First, we recognise the value of institutions to the vitality of towns and cities. As we explain in chapter two, it is why we are determined to move many of the functions of central government out to cities around Britain where possible and to see our vast cultural assets reach people around our country too.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.24

Our verdict

In 2017, according to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport estimates, the Creative Industries contributed £101.5 billion to the UK economy. This policy is an overarching promise to spread the economic and cultural value of our ‘cultural assets’ around Britain.

In the manifesto, we could find no explanation of how this policy objective is to be achieved. Nevertheless, measurable processes are outlined in a number of related promises from this and the subsequent chapter, which we’re using to help assess the status of this pledge:

All but the last two of those policies have received a verdict of ‘done’, and the last two are ‘in progress’. Most notably, we see a commitment to decentralise UK cultural markets through ensuring support for the arts and museums outside of London, supporting the new Edinburgh Concert Hall and holding a Great Exhibition of the North, which we recognise as first steps towards spreading the value of our cultural industries.

Despite an impressive record of completion on the policies above, work to fulfil such a wide-reaching promise may be essentially endless. We think that it is unlikely that a point will ever be reached at which it would be sensible to say, “We have now successfully shared our vast cultural assets with people around the country – job done”. While we recognise the government’s work in this direction, we believe there will always be an argument against the veracity of such a judgement. So, due to its comprehensive, almost never-ending scope, this policy will remain ‘in progress’.

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There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.