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

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.”

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