CIfA welcomes the publication of the DCMS’ Culture White Paper

The Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, this morning announced the publication of the first government white paper on culture and the arts for 50 years. CIfA welcomes publication of the report, which comes after a long process of consultation in the latter half of 2015.

In his announcement, the Minister said:

“This white paper sets out our ambition and strategy for the cultural sectors in the coming years. It outlines the key issues facing the cultural sectors today and the role we want culture to play in our society; what the government and our public bodies will do to address those issues; and how we will ensure that everyone can enjoy and benefit from culture.”

In particular, CIfA is pleased to note the recognition of an intrinsic value of culture, in addition to socially and economically instrumental values and a recognition of culture’s role in place-making. CIfA is committed to helping further the Government’s ambitions to enhance skills developments, including through support for Historic England’s heritage apprenticeships, and the stimulation of enhanced partnerships between Government, funding bodies, third sector bodies, universities, and communities to help protect heritage and enhance the benefits derived from it.

CIfA is pleased to note the white paper recognises issues facing historic environment records, and highlights a need to support local authorities to make the best use of resources in order to ensure sustainable provision of these vital services. To this end Government pledges to support Historic England’s key strategic priority to support local authorities and encourage new delivery models, where appropriate, over the next decade.

The Institute also supports the Government’s commitment to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention and both subsequent protocols, as well as to review its position on other international cultural heritage treaties, specifically the 2004 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Senior Policy Advisor, Tim Howard, said:

“It is gratifying to see Government committing so strongly to a future role of central government in the delivery of a strong and vibrant cultural sector. Archaeology and the wider historic environment form part of this family of cultural sectors and CIfA looks forward to developing relationships across this family and with government in the coming years. We must now work to encourage these messages to be spread widely across government and other sectors, such as planning, with whom we must work to develop practical means of making these aims for culture a reality.”

The White Paper can be downloaded here

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