City Corporation calls on Labour to support culture to drive UK economic recovery

The City of London Corporation has today called on the Labour Party to back the cultural sector to drive the footfall needed to underpin a sustainable economic recovery.

The call comes as the City Corporation holds a private roundtable with the Fabian Society at this year’s Labour Party Conference in Liverpool. It will explore the ways in which cities cans support the recovery of the cultural sector post-pandemic. It will also examine how the Government can help support the cultural sector through the cost-of-living crisis.

The ‘‘Culture in Economic Recovery: rebuilding culture, arts, and heritage after the pandemic’ fringe event features contributions from leading political figures including Shadow Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Music, Jeff Smith and Policy Chairman at the City Corporation, Chris Hayward. The event will be chaired by Ben Cooper, senior researcher at the Fabian Society, and bring together voices from the cultural sector around the country to discuss how to rebuild arts and culture post-pandemic, and the role it has in boosting local economies.

The City Corporation launched Destination City earlier this year, an ambitious new programme to reimagine the Square Mile as a world-leading destination for workers, visitors, and residents.

As part of the programme the City Corporation is investing £2.5 million annually to drive the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic. It builds on a long track record of cultural investment in the Square Mile. The City Corporation is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK, investing over £130 million every year.

The City Corporation is also working with the private sector to create Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), new commercial and cultural partnerships to entice people to the Square Mile.


Speaking ahead of the fringe event, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, said:

“The cultural sector has had an incredibly difficult few years. It was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine has led to huge increases in costs.

“The City Corporation believes that arts, culture, and heritage must play a vital role in our economic revival. We are playing our part with our bold Destination City campaign which will transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.

“We now call on the Labour Party to back this sector to drive a sustainable economic recovery. As one of the cultural capitals of the world, London is well-placed to work in partnership with other cities to boost the sector. We want to work with the Labour Party to realise this vision for the benefit of all.”



Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk


About Chris Hayward 

Throughout his career Chris Hayward has worked in the construction, aviation, infrastructure and global events management sectors. He is currently a Director at leading communications agency JBP, a Consultant at professional services consulting firm WSP in the UK and also of Keltbray Limited, and Director of Hayward Properties Limited. He is a former Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire and Dorset County Councils. As Policy Chairman, he will effectively operate as the political Leader of the City Corporation.