Today, Thursday 2nd February 2016 Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tom Watson, visited Corby on a fact-finding mission as part of his communities for culture taskforce which is looking at devolution in arts and culture.
The taskforce is particularly interested in how local councils have managed to preserve provision and access to the arts despite swingeing budget cuts from central government.
New figures, produced Tom Watson’s team, have found that while local councils across England have on average cut their spending on Culture and Heritage by £483,000 since 2010/11, Corby Council have actually increased their Culture and Heritage spending in that same period by £146,000 – an increase of 22%.
The Labour Borough Council have made arts, culture and leisure into a key part of the city’s regeneration and seen fantastic results and increased engagement.
Tom Watson, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said:
“It’s fantastic to come to Corby and see the results of the hard work of the council and local people to prioritise arts and culture.
“The Core theatre and experimental studio situated at the centre of civic life in the town is a brilliant platform for local talent and has really driven engagement in the arts.
“One of my priorities is to make sure culture is accessible to everyone across the country, particularly working class communities. The work Corby has done on this is a stellar example to other councils across the country.”