Unconvinced about 'Unboxed' - Stone responds to Government-led creative festival

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced a seven-month long festival, backed by £120 million of Government funding. The festival aims to showcase creative talent from all corners of the United Kingdom and will also "engage hundreds of thousands of school children, young people and communities through extensive school outreach and volunteering roles". 

Jamie Stone, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for DCMS responded to the news:

"£120 million of Government-backed funding will be very welcome, especially to a sector that has taken such a hard hit over the past 18 months. Indeed, this initiative is promising.

"However, I maintain serious reservations about the illusion of this festival. This one-off event will not make up for years of major cuts to arts funding at schools and universities, nor will it put right the wrongs that were committed during the pandemic, when thousands of creatives were excluded from the Government Coronavirus financial support schemes. This 'festival' cannot and will not be a means to an end.

"What's more, digital and culture must be accessible in all parts of the UK, not just London and the Central Belt. Creativity may transcend the boundaries of geography, but opportunity and funding (as we in the Far North know all too well) does not. I want to see the UK and Scottish Governments working together to ensure that proper outreach for this event is done in the most rural parts of the country, and that this money is distributed fairly and equally."


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