In a letter to the Sunday Telegraph published yesterday, 20 major arts organisations, including Arts Development UK call for the inclusion of culture in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in response to the lack of recognition of culture and the arts in the Communities and Local Government department’s draft NPPF.
The joint statement comes from national arts bodies with networks and members whose activities and audiences are directly affected by the planning system. Signatories include The Theatres Trust, ixia public art think tank, Arts Development UK, National Federation of Artists Studio Providers, Voluntary Arts, Visual Arts and Galleries Association (VAGA), National Campaign for the Arts, Crafts Council, Little Theatre Guild (LTG), Dance UK, Independent Theatre Council (ITC), Axis – the online resource for contemporary art, Contemporary Art Society, The Society of London Theatre and the Theatrical Management Association, Audiences UK, a-n The Artists Information Company, Association of British Orchestras and the Museums Association.
Their letter voices the concerns of many in the arts and museums sector that the draft NPPF ignores culture and does not recognise culture’s role in achieving economic growth, enhancing the built environment and developing sustainable communities.
Rob Dickins CBE, Chairman of The Theatres Trust – the organisation leading the call, said: “If the NPPF continues to remain silent on culture then theatres, concert halls, art galleries, museums, libraries, public art initiatives, crafts venues and artists’ studios will not be promoted or protected in national planning policy. Culture must have the same status currently afforded to leisure, recreation, sport and heritage. We are a nation that has built its reputation and economic success on the quality of its theatre, music, visual artists, and crafts and our wellbeing rests on providing people with the places, spaces and initiatives to pursue their cultural interests. Theatres are nationally and locally important buildings and must have proper protection through the NPPF.”