Liberal Democrats have a proud tradition of championing the arts, culture and heritage. Liberal Democrats recognise the enormous contribution that arts, heritage and culture make to the lives of citizens. We believe that culture should be valued for its own sake as well as for the undoubted benefits to other areas, such as the economy, health, crime prevention and education.
We believe that public investment in the arts should fund talent not bureaucracy, and sustainability not short-term initiatives. We remain concerned that the former Governmentâ€™s move towards greater interference in the arts has threatened to stifle artistic freedom. Diversions to pay for the Olympics have also lead to a reduction in lottery money available for the arts. We will ensure that National Lottery funding has real independence from government and reassert the â€˜armâ€™s lengthâ€™ funding principle. We would also change the way the Lottery is taxed to generate more money for good causes. Weâ€™d leave it up to artists, musicians, museums and galleries, and crucially the communities they serve, to determine what form culture takes.
Britainâ€™s creative industries have enjoyed impressive global and domestic successes. Liberal Democrats would seek to safeguard their future prosperity by supporting upgrades to our digital infrastructure and taking action to tackle illegal file-sharing.
Essential to a free society is a strong and diverse media free from government interference and pressure. Independent, impartial and trusted media sources are needed across the UK and its nations and regions. We will ensure that public service broadcasting remains strong, free from interference and securely funded. We are committed to maintaining an independently-funded BBC as the cornerstone of public service broadcasting in the UK and therefore opposed Labourâ€™s plans to top-slice the Licence Fee.
However, we also recognise the vital roles that commercial radio, television and new media play. We will foster a climate in which diverse ownership and competition can thrive, and provide flexible regulation that adapts to the rapidly changing media environment.
Some of our latest Act members