GILES QUESTIONS MINISTERS ON THEATRE REOPENING

Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has questioned Ministers from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the reopening of theatres and the cultural sector. This took place at DCMS Questions on 9th July 2020, the transcript of which is below:

Giles Watling MP:

What steps his Department is taking to help the cultural sector reopen as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP)

Arts and culture define our nation and form a vital part of the ecosystem that makes us a creative-industry superpower. At a time when the nation is crying out for comfort, they enrich our soul, which is why I was delighted this week to announce an unprecedented £1.57 billion package to help theatres, museums, live music venues and galleries to weather the ongoing storm. I want to see these institutions open their doors as soon as it is safe for them to do so. I am working extensively with the sector on how to achieve this and will be publishing further roadmap timings for further steps imminently.

Giles Watling MP:

First, I thank my right hon. Friend for all the hard work, including putting up with me bothering him relentlessly, to achieve the remarkable result of the £1.57 billion for the arts and culture sector. Will he now agree to meet me and the all-party parliamentary group on theatre to discuss some policy changes, including the possible reduction in business rates, to help the theatre sector truly flourish as it begins to reopen?

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP)

My hon. Friend is too modest to admit it on the Floor of the House, but I thank him too for his vital work in helping to shape this important package and to support this vital sector. I would of course be delighted to meet the APPG. In fact, the only thing that would give me more pleasure would be to go on a visit with the APPG to a theatre that was performing, which I hope will happen soon.

 

Read the question here.

Watch the question here.