Congress recognises that arts and heritage make a huge contribution to the UK economy, attracting millions of visitors each year as well as playing an invaluable role in education and well-being for everyone.
Congress also recognises that public funding for arts and heritage is too often seen as an easy target for cost-cutting. Successive rounds of austerity at national and local levels have cut funding to the bone, resulting in the loss of key community venues. This has been echoed by damaging rhetoric about the value of arts education, and drastic funding cuts to arts courses.
Furthermore, for too long world-class arts and heritage have relied on low pay, insecure and precarious work with no opportunities for career progression. For too many people, working in these sectors is becoming unaffordable.
Congress calls for an end to this regime of second class pay. For the UK to continue to be a leading cultural centre, we must safeguard nationally significant institutions and the highly skilled jobs associated with them. We need a new approach to funding for heritage and the arts.
- The importance of the creative arts to the UK economy. (109 Billion contributed to UK economy in 2021).
- Continuing changes in work patterns and work and non working time.
- Ecological change affecting work and non work.
- The fundamental importance of the Creative Arts. Its importance in both physical and mental health, for those that participate-for people who create, wish to create, and those who enjoy all forms of creative art.
- TUC policy on lobbying for the provision of community hubs with Art Studios/Rehearsal rooms and teaching spaces rooms.
- TUC policy on supporting arts education, at all levels. Ensuring equality of opportunity for all disadvantaged groups and proper funding.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
- Devise a fair and sustainable funding model for arts and heritage and lobby all relevant government bodies for this to be implemented.
- Lobby present and future governments to:
- reverse cuts to funding for arts education;
- develop a coordinated approach to ensure that different areas of government work together to create an overarching Art provision policy for the UK in the 21st century.