From MP to Museum Director
Friday the 13th saw an unlucky loss for Labour as Tristram Hunt stepped down as MP for Stoke- on-Trent in acceptance as the new director of the Victoria and Albert museum in London. This raises questions on what this could mean as Britain struggles though both politically and culturally unsteady times.
After last year saw the National Lottery Good Causes fund cut arts funding by £18.4m, and 60% of the midland’s councils cut funding for art institutions, could we be seeing a few glimmers of hope for a brighter future for the arts? We were relieved to hear that Arts Council England were announcing that in 2018-22 we will see an increase in investment for the sector on an ‘ambitious’ scale, and perhaps Tristram Hunt’s recent appointment will also be cause for celebration, if he can fill the big shoes left behind by his successor Martin Roth, who’s involvement at the V&A tripled the number of attendees over his 5 years there.
As Corbyn’s Labour loses another bright young MP, the energy and talent lost is not one the party can afford, but will Hunt be the last to go? Could Barnsley’s own Labour MP and former Shadow Arts and Culture Minister Dan Jarvis be the next to be captured by the bright lights of the culture sector?
In these uncertain days, we hope that Hunt’s stint as MP for Stoke-on-Trent will inspire him to encourage further investment for culture in the North. As for Labour, let’s hope they can keep their remaining fresh faces from jumping ship.
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