City Corporation calls on Labour to invest in culture

The City of London Corporation is calling on the Labour Party to support the success of London as a world-leading cultural hub and ensure that cities across the UK receive the investment required to ensure local creative industries flourish.

The City Corporation is today (24 September) hosting a roundtable at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool focusing on how investment in arts and culture can drive local economic growth. Kevin Brennan MP – Shadow Minister for Heritage and Arts – will be speaking at the event, which is being held in partnership with the Fabian Society.

A key topic of discussion will be the City Corporation’s Culture Mile project, which is being developed with its four core partners – the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London – between Farringdon and Moorgate.

The multi-million-pound investment will transform the area over the next 10 to 15 years, including £110m in City Corporation funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £2.5m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.

Culture Mile will create a new creative destination, improving the partners’ offer to audiences with imaginative collaborations, outdoor programming and events seven days a week. Links between venues will be improved and major enhancements to the streets and wider public realm will enliven the area which, as Culture Mile expands and flourishes, will be regenerated.

The City Corporation is the fourth largest funder of culture in the UK and invests over £100m every year. It also runs a range of heritage assets, including: Tower Bridge, the Monument, Keats House, and the London Metropolitan Archives.

Leading the City Corporation’s attendance at the Labour conference, Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness said:

“Culture and commerce have thrived alongside one another in the City of London for centuries. The Square Mile is home to a number of world leading cultural institutions with a well-deserved reputation for artistic excellence and innovation.

“We are committed to ensuring that communities across London and the UK can benefit from these institutions. The completion of the Elizabeth Line and development of Culture Mile presents a once in a generation opportunity to open up the City to new audiences. Improving access and widening diversity will help to foster creativity by inspiring the cultural leaders of tomorrow.

“Labour should put investment in culture at the heart of its policies to develop a fairer, more inclusive economy. The City Corporation stands ready to work with the party to deliver this vision.”

In its 2017 election manifesto, Labour pledged to “introduce a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country, based on a similar model to enterprise zones.”

The UK is a world leader in arts, culture, and the creative industries. Its creative industries are worth £92 billion, employ more than two million people and are growing at twice the rate of the other sectors.