Events & News

To be announced shortly

Letter from the Minister

25 May 2022

Read the response from Minister Neil O’Brien to our letter sent to him following the launch of our Case for Culture report:


25 May 2022

We are delighted to be launching the Northern Culture All-Party Parliamentary Group’s second inquiry: A Question of Sport? An Inquiry into the cultural value of sport to the North’s cities, towns and communities.

Our first inquiry was enormously successful. The Case for Culture: Levelling Up Northern Culture Report made a clear case to Government for culture to be the centre of levelling up, and Government listened – almost £70 million was announced to invest in culture outside London. It achieved cross-party consensus on the need to level up Northern Culture and deliver greater access, investment and equal opportunity for the North’s rich seam of talent and provided a blueprint for how the North can rebuild cultural confidence, adapt and become more resilient and develop new audiences for culture.

The Northern Culture APPG’s second inquiry will look specifically at the major role sport plays across the North in terms of shaping the region’s cultural identity and value.

Speakers will be discussing these key questions:

  1. What is needed to boost the cultural value of sport and build stronger communities across the North? 
  2. How much more cultural value could sport add to levelling up opportunities and access to culture?
  3. How can sport drive cultural value, identity and diversity and contribute to the North’s rich seam of talent and grow the North’s economy?

We are holding a launch of the session of the 15th June, 10-11 via Zoom. Please register on Eventbrite here.

Annual General Meeting

31 March 2022

On Tuesday 15th March 2022, the Northern Culture APPG held their Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

Julie Elliott MP (Co-Chair) welcomed everyone and acknowledged the success of NC APPG’s
‘The Case for Culture Report’. Julie Elliott, talked about the impact that the report has had,
including the recent announcement by DCMS, to provide £75 million by 2025 to places which
have been culturally under-served in the past.

The following officers of the Northern Culture APPG have confirmed that they wish to remain
as officers and were re-elected unopposed:

  • Co-Chair: James Daly MP
  • Co-Chair: Julie Elliott MP
  • Vice-Chair: Alex Sobel MP
  • Vice-Chair: Jason McCartney MP
  • Secretary: Tony Lloyd MP

The following Parliamentarians had put their names forward to become Officers. All were
nominated and duly elected unopposed:

• The Most Rev and the Rt Hon the Lord Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell – N/A
• The Rt Rev the Lord Bishop of Leeds, Nicholas Baines – N/A
• Lord Storey CBE – Liberal Democrats

It was agreed that DevoConnect, Secretariat, NC APPG would continue as the Secretariat and
named contact for the Northern Culture APPG.

You can read the NON-VERBATIM MINUTES in full below:

NC APPG Minutes – AGM (March 2022)

Letter to the Levelling Up Secretary

18 March 2022

Dear Secretary of State



We were delighted to launch our first report into Levelling Up Northern Culture, calling on Government to put Northern Culture at the heart of the levelling up agenda. Please click here to download the report.

Our report shows the enormous value which Northern culture brings to local economies and communities, and puts forward a 10 Point Action Plan, calling for greater funding and devolved powers for local institutions to invest in culture. In summary, our recommendation highlights policy pathways to levelling up Northern culture through:

  1. Investing in next-generation creatives: The North needs to see greater investment in a new creative curriculum from early years to higher education that is co-designed and co- delivered with the creative industries, alongside new creative benchmarks, flexi-creative degree apprenticeships and creative enterprise skills.
  2. Transforming technology to unlock growth: Developing pan-regional and city-region plans to transform hard and soft tech infrastructure would support growth, raise productivity levels, and establish the North as a key driver of national growth.
  3. Building Back Opportunities: There needs to be greater and more equal access to cultural opportunities in the North. Inclusion and diversity must be front and foremost in the recovery from the pandemic.
  4. Generating Prosperity Partnerships: The North needs to incentivise new collaborations between cultural, educational, public, third and private sector organisations and freelancers to maximise resources, enhance competitiveness and opportunities, share best practices, and build resilience.
  5. Securing Flagship Funding: More devolved and less centralised funding would better support creative ideas and generate greater cultural capital across the North. Northern leaders should collaborate and work together to leverage resources and support diverse cross-sector groups
  1. Defining the cultural value of the North:
    Establishing a Northern Culture working group with Northern universities would work to generate a robust evidence base for evaluating the value of the North’s culture and soft infrastructure
  2. Building back confidence: To fully recover from the pandemic and build back confidence, venues, creatives, and audiences require long-term support to normalise live engagement with culture and the arts, especially in relation to touring and festivals in the North.
  3. Connecting health and culture: There should be greater collaboration to bring together public bodies to promote the role culture and heritage plays in the North’s wellbeing and to map physical barriers to engagement with culture across the regions of the North.
  4. Promoting creative leadership: Local government and CAs must operate as a mesh, not as hubs and spokes between the culture of cities and city-regions, countryside, and coastal communities
  5. Measuring up to Level Up: The North needs to adopt a more strategic and less fragmented approach to Northern culture; fewer short-term interventions, more joined-up thinking, and enhanced focus on cultural literacy and leadership are required across the North to promote and prioritise the importance of Northern culture and heritage to the levelling up agenda.

We very much hope that you will embrace the Northern Culture APPG’s recommendations and refer to its very useful analysis to shape and inform future Government policy thinking.

We would, together with other officers and Parliamentarians, like to extend an invitation to discuss how the report can help the levelling up agenda to succeed. We would also like to extend an open invitation to speak at a future meeting of the APPG.

We look forward to receiving your reply and having the opportunity to discuss our report and hopefully welcoming you to a future meeting.

Kind regards

James Daly MP

Julie Elliott MP

The Case for Culture: Cross-Party Coalition of Northern Legislators Launches Ground-Breaking Report

19 January 2022

On Wednesday 19th, and for the first time, Northern MPs, regional mayors, local authority and cultural leaders will come together to make the case for Northern culture.

The Case For Culture gathered a significant body of evidence on what the North needs to rebuild, rebalance and recover and achieved pan-Northern and cross-party consensus on its findings and recommendations. Its 10 point action plan makes it clear that Northern culture must be embedded – and not ignored – in the UK Government’s levelling up White Paper.

NCAPPG – The Case for Culture Report

Levelling Up Culture: Tracy Brabin joins Northern MPs rebuilding culture post-Covid

8 July 2021

Newly elected Mayor of West Yorkshire and former actor Tracy Brabin is set to give evidence to MPs at an inquiry into how the North can rebuild culture in the wake of the pandemic.

The Northern Culture Club – a cross-party group of MPs chaired by Julie Elliott MP and James Daly MP – is examining what Northern Culture needs to rebuild, rebalance and recover ahead of its State of the North report, due to be published in early 2022.

Giving evidence alongside Tracy Brabin will be Lord Mendoza from the Department of Culture Media and Sport, Sally Joynson from Screen Yorkshire, Dr Laurence Clark from the Disabled Artists Networking Community (DANC), Andrew Mackay from Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle and Dave Jenkins of The Old Courts in Wigan.

As part of the Inquiry the group is gathering evidence from cultural organisations and politicians from across the North which will be used to draw up a Post-Covid Action Plan’ to rebuild Northern culture after the pandemic and highlight the need to level-up investment to support cultural growth in the North’s towns and cities.

During the session, evidence will be given on:

  • How to ensure a fair spread of funding for culture across our Northern communities?
  • How to level-up investment to help restore and rebuild cultural institutions?
  • How to improve the physical barriers to engagement with culture, be that inaccessible venues or poor transport links?
  • Should more powers and funding be devolved to build back culture in the North?

Co-Chair of the Northern Culture All Party Parliamentary Group Julie Elliott MP said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Tracy Brabin, Lord Mendoza and representatives from cultural organisations across the North for the second evidence session in our Inquiry into what the Northern Cultural sector needs to Rebuild, Rebalance and Recover post-Covid.

“We’ve already had one fantastic evidence session and hundreds of written submissions to our Inquiry, and we are looking forward to hearing from our expert panellists on their view on what needs to happen next.

“Culture will play a hugely significant role in the North’s recovery post-covid. The sector contributes a huge amount to our economy and by bringing together key players from across the North, we hope to make the case to Government of the benefits of supporting a thriving Northern cultural sector.

“The purpose of this session is examine what needs to be done to ensure all communities have the funding they need properly invest in culture, that our cultural institutions have the support they need to rebuild, and that sector remains accessible for all.

“Northern towns and cities boast fantastic venues, events and festivals that are famous around the world, and after more than 15 months apart, people are excited to come together to celebrate culture once again. I’m proud that the Northern Culture Club is helping to enable that.”

You can register to watch Northern Culture Club: Levelling Up Cultural Infrastructure on Eventbrite. Find out more on our website or follow us on Twitter.

MPs fight back for Northern Culture!

11 December 2020

A cross-party group of Northern MPs has come together to form the new Northern Culture All Party Parliamentary Group (NC APPG) to provide a strong and cohesive voice to bang the drum for Northern culture in Whitehall and Westminster.

The North’s cultural industry has been hit hard and faces an historic challenge as the global pandemic continues to affect our everyday lives.  The Northern Culture APPG will promote and champion the huge economic contribution made by the North’s cultural sector, build consensus and fight for what the Government needs to do to level-up and build back the North’s cultural potential now and in the longer term.

Speaking at the launch of the Northern Culture Club and the Northern Culture APPG its Co-Chair of the NC APPG James Daly MP for Bury North said:

“It’s clear that all Northern MPs are united in Parliament about the levelling-up agenda.

For the MPs that make up the APPG, we are determined to provide a strong voice in Parliament for Northern Culture for not just the cities of the North but smaller towns like my constituency of Bury North, who have great potential to flourish in the cultural sector but have sadly been hit by the pandemic.

 No matter your background or where you are from, you should have access to culture. The APPG are determined to make a difference and make sure Northern culture has a roaring voice in Parliament.”

Vice-Chair of the NC APPG Alex Sobel MP for Leeds North West said:

There is such a rich diversity and heritage of culture in the North, we don’t need to look very far across the North to find a whole range of great cultural institutions. The APPG will speak up for Northern Culture and its institutions, working hard to get people back on their feet, into venues and viewing what the North can offer”.

Vice Chair of the NC APPG Jason McCartney MP for Colne Valley said:

“There is so much culture going on in our Northern communities and we will work hard to make sure funding is spread fairly across the North, not just in the South. I’m looking forward to working cross-party with colleagues on this exciting and very timely APPG.”

Coming up

To be announced shortly.

Previous Meetings of the Northern Culture APPG

28th March 2023: AGM + A Question of Sport Inquiry: Evidence session 3



14th December 2022: A Question of Sport Inquiry: Evidence session 2



15th November 2022: A Question of Sport Inquiry: Evidence session 1
Full recording




15th June 2022: A Question of Sport Inquiry Launch
Full recording

15th March 2022 – AGM


19th January 2022 – Case for Culture Report Launch

Full recording


23rd September 2021 14:00 – 16:00

Evidence Session III

  • Getting Northern Culture back on track: What are the opportunities for Northern Culture?

9th July 2021 14:00 – 16:00

Evidence Session II

  • Levelling up Cultural Infrastructure in our Northern Towns & Cities: How do we ensure a fair spread of funding for culture across our Northern communities?

26th May 2021 14:00 – 16:00

Evidence Session I

  • Increasing the North’s Access to Culture: How do we support and encourage young people’s creativity and cultural job opportunities post-Covid?


Northern Culture Club: Inaugural Meeting | Friday 11th December 2020 | Full Recording


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