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Arts: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL510, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group Supporting Writers through the COVID-19 Crisis, published on 11 May, what plans they have to engage with writers’ organisations to discuss the recommendations relating to maintaining diversity of talent in the creative industries following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

7 June 2021

Literature contributes greatly to the richness and diversity of our cultural environment, and we welcome the report by the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group.

The government is clear that it expects the cultural sectors to represent our diverse society in their artistic talent, workforce and audiences. As the national development agency for art and culture, Arts Council England (ACE) has a responsibility to ensure that public money benefits all of the public.

ACE supports a network of Writer Development Agents, which between them cover every one of the five regions in which ACE operates, all of which have an explicit remit to support writers that represent the diversity of our country. ACE has also focused additional funding on organisations whose work promotes diversity, most prominently via an Ambition for Excellence award to The Good Literary Agency, based in Bristol, which develops and then markets authors from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and via our support of a pair of reports (by BookTrust and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) into the diversity and inclusivity of the children’s literature sector.

We hope that this ongoing support and engagement will help to nurture the next generation of writers to build on the success of today’s sector.