Unions representing workers in the cultural sector have written an open letter to candidates in the West Midlands mayoral election calling on the candidates to commit to securing a new TV and film studio for the region, greater devolution of arts spending to the region and a fairer deal for cultural workers.
The letter points out that whilst the region is the home of Shakespeare and other fantastic cultural assets the region is disadvantaged when it comes to per head of population arts funding with only £4.58 versus London's £69.
To maximise the region’s cultural potential a cultural manifesto has been published urging the incoming Mayor to address 6 key areas:
- A Midlands film and television studio facility.
- Trade union recognition and implementation of negotiated agreements as a condition of public funding.
- An integrated local government policy framework to support live venues, festivals and street performers (including infrastructure, public transport, regulatory framework etc).
- An increase in public spending on the arts in the Midlands until per capita regional arts spending is on a par with London.
- Secure, properly paid, professional employment for cultural workers and arts educators.
- Local control of all arts spending in the region (including Arts Council England).