Arts cutbacks would dent chances of 'social recovery'

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The heads of Britain's most prominent museums, galleries and theatres yesterday launched a "cultural manifesto" urging the Government to uphold public arts spending.

A panel including Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, Nicholas Hytner, of the National Theatre, Neil MacGregor, of the British Museum, Jude Kelly, artistic director at the Southbank and Alan Davey, chief executive of the Arts Council England, argued that Government investment in culture could help Britain's recovery after the recession.

In Cultural Capital: A Manifesto for the Future, the panel warned cutting state funding makes poor economic sense and risks denting Britain's "social and economic recovery". "As the economy begins to move, the cultural sector is ready to contribute. The arts and heritage are on hand to help those who lost out in the recession: with jobs, training, skills, experience, hope," it reads.