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Sir Roger Gale meets local arts groups in Parliament  16th September 2015

MPs and arts industry figures from across the country came together in Parliament on 14 September in an event hosted by Arts Council England, celebrating the value of arts and culture to the country.

Sir Roger Gale met with local arts organisations at the event, to celebrate the difference that arts and culture make in North Thanet. With a thriving creative infrastructure, arts and cultural organisations in Margate and Herne Bay play a significant role in the nationís cultural reputation.

Arts and culture makes a powerful contribution to the nation as a whole; adding £7.7 billion to the UK economy for less that 0.1% of Government funding in England.

MPs also enjoyed performances from the Royal Shakespeare Companyís multi award-winning production of Matilda, The Musical and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, with objects on display from Londonís Horniman Museum and Manchesterís National Football Museum.

Sir Roger Gale, MP (North Thanet) with Arts Council South East Director Hedley Swain and the football used in England`s famous World-Cup winning match.

An apprentice form the Royal Opera House costume department was also in attendance, talking to Parliamentarians about her work.

The value that arts and culture can bring socially, economically and educationally was also highlighted at the event by renowned British mezzo soprano Sarah Connelly, CBE, Secretary of State John Whittingdale, and Arts Council Englandís Chief Executive Darren Henley, who all recognised the powerful contribution arts and culture makes to the nation as a whole.

Sir Roger said: ďI was delighted to meet with our South East Director, Hedley Swain, and a host of arts organisations from across the country. The event showcased just how much of a burgeoning hub of creativity [insert name of constituency] and indeed the UK is and it is important that this is celebrated.Ē

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: ďThe arts bring us pleasure and happiness in ways that canít be quantified, which is why as the national development agency for the arts, museums and libraries, it is important for us to make the case for public investment in arts and culture. We direct public money into nurturing a national arts ecology so that everyone can enjoy and benefit from the arts.Ē

Also launched at the event was an Arts and Culture Parliamentary Fellowship, an initiative run by Arts Council England in partnership with the Industry and Parliament Trust, to provide Parliamentarians with a unique, behind-the-scenes insight into how the arts industry works. As part of the fellowship, Fellows spend seven days over two years with arts organisations, museums, libraries and creative businesses. By taking part in the fellowship, Parliamentarians can learn how organisations operate, the opportunities and challenges they face and understand the impact of government policies. The event also encouraged MPs to sign up to the Early Day Motion for the Government to bring forward policies which recognise the important role public investment in the arts and culture plays in supporting the creative economy. This follows the Centre for Economics and Business Research's finding that arts and culture in England contributes £7.7 billion to the UK economy from an investment of 0.1 per cent of public spending.


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