Advocacy Update: July 2019

23 Jul 2019

Have Your Say

Help Arts Council England (ACE) shape their approach for the next ten years – ACE are currently developing their new strategy for 2020-2030 and want to know what you think. The consultation on the draft strategy 2020-2030 is open until 23 September 2019. Have your say here.

Have you made your nominations yet for the Dance Advocacy Award? Click here to nominate someone who’s really making a difference and speaking up for the UK dance sector.

July highlights

The Government’s new School Sport and Activity Action Plan sets out a range of new measures to strengthen the role of physical activity within a young person’s daily routine, to explain how teachers and parents can play their part, and to promote a joined-up approach to physical activity and mental wellbeing. One Dance UK have been delighted to advise the Sports Minister on the importance of physical activity for children and young people and strongly believe in the power of dance to contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing of children and young people. We hope that this action plan will allow more young people to access high quality provision.

We attended a launch event meeting nine new Tech Champions as part of Arts Council England’s new Digital Culture Network, which aims to support the development of individual skills and the digital maturity of organisations across the arts and cultural sector in England.

We launched the #DancersMatter, prompted by the sudden closure of the NHS dance injury clinics at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) which has affected several hundreds of dancers. Sign this petition and help us spread the word to highlight the importance of dance specialist healthcare and the lifeline this provides for professional and non-professional dancers.

Keep Informed, Get involved

At the time of reading this update, voting will have already closed on Conservative Party members’ choice on who is to be the next Prime Minister – Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt. Ed Vaizey MP comments on which of the two candidates for prime minister would best serve the arts. New Liberal Democrat Party leader, Jo Swinson MP, has also been announced. In the meantime, Digital and creative industries minister Margot James has resigned from Government with a replacement yet to be confirmed at this time.

Global Future released its report Measuring and Celebrating the Diversity of British Culture – dance alongside art, fashion and music are highlighted as our most diverse cultural industries.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has released employment statistics showing that across the DCMS sectors, the Creative Industries has the most jobs and has seen the largest increase in the number of jobs since 2011.  The Arts are amongst the largest sub-sectors in the Cultural sector, accounting for 37.2% of jobs.

Arts Council England have released a report into the economic value of arts and culture in the North of England, showing that the sector generated £2.7 billion in turnover in 2016. The performing arts, artistic creation and support activities to performing arts were the three largest sets of productive activities,  accounting for 35%, 22% and 17%, respectively, of the turnover of the arts and culture industry in the region in 2016, as well as  being the largest gross value added (GVA) contributors and employers.

The Cultural Learning Alliance comments on the new Ofsted framework which, for the first time, now requires schools to develop their pupils’ ‘cultural capital’.

The Stage reports that Education secretary Damian Hinds claims that the ‘arts are not being squeezed out of schools’ before the Education Select Committee.

DCMS has released its departmental plan, setting out its objectives and how the department will achieve them. Key objectives include to maximise cultural participation. DCMS commits to support UK art and culture in delivering positive social and economic outcomes through cohesive policies and public investment, focused on building a resilient and sustainable sector, including the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, Culture Development Fund, and supporting Coventry as the UK City of Culture 2021. It also commits to extending the reach, innovation and resilience in the cultural sector through the delivery of the Culture is Digital report. The plan also highlights that almost 80% of people in the UK have engaged with the arts in 2017-18.

Check out the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance – a national organisation representing everyone who believes that cultural engagement can transform our health and wellbeing.

Next year will see the launch of a new Centre for Cultural Value, based at the University of Leeds, which will focus on the role of arts and culture in areas such as conflict resolution, education, health and wellbeing, and community regeneration. The ACE funded centre will bring together researchers with expertise in these areas along with cultural professionals, arts and cultural organisations, audiences, participants and local communities.

EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens living in the UK – a reminder that if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your non-EU family members can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme here.

DCMS and Home Office have shared important information regarding the use of e-gates for exception travellers – including students and Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Certificate of Sponsorship holders. Exception travellers must have their passport stamped in order to receive permission needed to come to the UK to undertake their activities, rather than using the e-gates. See this leaflet  for more information.

Remember, to keep informed and get involved in advocating for dance, you can:

Sign up to:


Check out MPs on Twitter and find and engage with your local MP on social media. Don’t forget to invite your local MP to join the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance.

Write to your local MP

Tell them about your organisation, how many local people you reach and the benefits they enjoy from engaging in dance activities. Invite them to come and visit you, perhaps to see a show, class, rehearsal or to tour your facilities…find your local MP

Spread the word

Email Hanna to let us know of any upcoming performances or events that you would like for us to consider including in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance programme of events.

Dance All Party Parliamentary Group

The Dance APPG exists to promote dance as an art form and as an important element of healthy living and the fight against obesity, and to promote its education and social benefits.

If you ask your local MP to join the APPG, express to them how their membership of the Group would be an incredibly valuable declaration of commitment to the importance of dance in the UK and would be extremely appreciated by their local constituents involved in dance.

See the current membership of the Group here.

Please make sure to let us know about any contact you have with national and local politicians.

Key Dates

  • Parliamentary recess – House will rise for summer recess on 25 July
  • Party Conferences 2019:
  • 14-17 September, Bournemouth – Liberal Democrat Party Conference
  • 21-25 September, Brighton – Labour Party Conference
  • 29 September – 2 October, Manchester – Conservative Party Conference
  • 13-15 October, Aberdeen – SNP Conference