Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at an event at Bradford University in West Yorkshire on May 16, 2017. Photo: Darren Staples

As UK Election Looms, Labor Party Pledges $1 Billion in Arts Funding for the Next Five Years

As the UK’s June 8 general election approaches, the Labor Party has released a manifesto that promises to launch a Cultural Capital Fund that will administer $200 million annually over the next five years, Martin Bailey of the Art Newspaper reports. The more than $1 billion budget for the arts, which will be administered by the Arts Council, aims to “to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age.”

Published on Tuesday, May 16, the manifesto calls the arts a source of national pride and pledges to reverse funding cuts that have caused a number of arts institutions across the UK to close their doors or reduce services and staff members last year. The party claims it will ensure that museums free to the public can continue to grant free admission and will focus on increasing museums’ and galleries’ “income and viability.” It will also provide an additional $160 million for primary schools and plans to reevaluate curricula “to make sure arts are not sidelined from secondary education.”

The party also intends to work with trade unions and employers to create a set of pay guidelines and employment standards for the cultural sector in order to close the “value gap” between producers of creative content and the digital services that profit from its use.