General Election 2019: What About The Arts?

There’s just one day to go before the UK general election and many voters are still undecided. With that, we’ve rounded up arts and cultural policies as they appear in the manifestos of all major parties.

If you’re a musician, writer, publisher or even a small venue owner, these policies could be paramount.


The Conservative Party have pledged that they will retain their commitment to the core subjects, but also want young people to learn creative skills and broaden their horizons. With that, they will offer an Arts Premium to secondary schools to ‘fund enriching activities for all pupils’.

Additionally, they vow to further reduce business rates for retail businesses, as well as extending the discount to grassroots music venues, small cinemas and pubs, and maintain support for creative sector tax reliefs.


If elected, the Labour Party have pledged to introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to every primary school in England – a £160 million annual boost for schools ‘to ensure creative and arts education is embedded in secondary education, and providing a pathway to grow our thriving creative sector.’

The party have also promised to review the copyright framework to ensure fair remuneration for artists and content creators.

In addition, Labour have published ‘A Charter for the Arts’.

This is available here and here and reiterates the above manifesto commitments as well as the following additional pledges:

‘We will extend the right to shared parental leave and pay to freelancers.’

‘We will help communities protect their local music and cultural venues from closure.’

‘We will establish at the heart of government a co-ordinating committee for arts and culture working across government departments to drive a national cultural renewal.’

‘We will introduce a renewed Culture White Paper.’


In their manifesto, the Lib Dems have promised to examine the available funding and planning rules for live music venues and the grassroots music sector, protecting venues from further closures.

The pledge to ‘protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and act to remove barriers to pupils studying these subjects, including by abolishing the English Baccalaureate as a performance measure’.

Further down, the party vow to ‘support growth in the creative industries, including video gaming, by continuing to support the Creative Industries Council and tailored industry-specific tax support, promoting creative skills, supporting modern and flexible patent, copyright and licensing rules, and addressing the barriers to finance faced by small creative businesses.’

Finally, they say that they want to Expand the rights and benefits available to those in insecure forms of employment, such as offering parental leave and pay to the self-employed.


If elected, the Green Party vow to restore arts and music education in all state schools, to enable children to develop their creative potential.

They also promise to reduce VAT on food and drink served in pubs, bars and restaurants, on hotel bookings and on theatre, music concert and museum and gallery tickets.

Finally, the party have said that they will abolish Council Tax and Business Rates, replacing them with a Land Value Tax.


Welsh social-democratic party Plaid Cymru have simply vowed to ‘place culture at the heart of all policies’.


Nigel Farage’s Brexit party say they will replace business rates with a simpler system to assist small High Street retailers and leisure operators outside the M25, with any reductions funded by an online sales tax.


The Scottish National Party say that they will ‘continue to support tax incentives for creative industries, including for film and television, and for more work to increase equality, inclusion and diversity across the sector’.

Additionally, the have said ‘if Brexit happens we will argue for streamlined visa schemes for artists and performers which ensures people from across the world can come to Scotland to perform, work and collaborate, and Scotland’s culture sector and creative industries can continue to benefit from international partnerships and shared experiences’.

The UK General Election will take place tomorrow, 12 December.

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