Posted: Mon 11th Apr 2016

Putting Culture At The Heart Of The Debate /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 11th, 2016

University supports Wales’ first creative economy hustings, ahead of the Assembly elections. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The future of culture and arts in Wales has been debated by candidates for the National Assembly for Wales, at a landmark hustings event supported by Cardiff University. More than 250 attended the public event, held at the National Museum of Wales, organised by Creative Cardiff, which is run by the University, and grassroots culture movement What Next? ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The event saw representatives from five political parties in Wales set out their vision for the future of the cultural sector, and how the nation’s creative economy can be developed. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Panellists included Ken Skates (Welsh Labour), Suzy Davies (Welsh Conservatives), Bethan Jenkins (Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales), Amelia Womack (Wales Green Party) and Denis Campbell (Welsh Liberal Democrats). The event was hosted by arts and cultural producer Laura Drane, and chaired by Menna Richards, the former controller of BBC Cymru Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The panel discussed a range of issues including equality and diversity within the arts, museums and heritage, and the opportunities presented by digital technology. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sara Pepper, Director of Creative Economy at Cardiff University said: “The creative economy is an important part of Wales’ identity and is a growing rapidly at the moment. In 2014 the UK’s creative industries grew by 8.9 per cent – almost double the growth of the UK economy as a whole. It’s vital that the Welsh Assembly understands and supports this thriving sector over the next five years. With the Welsh Assembly elections only weeks away we’re delighted that hundreds of people used this important opportunity to come to listen and challenge politicians on their priorities.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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