Michael Fabricant today (8th July) questioned the Prime Minister on funding for the arts. Speaking afterwards, he said: “While I am delighted with the £1.7 billion of support the Government is giving theatres and performing artists during the coronavirus pandemic which has closed so many of our venues, I wanted assurance that the substantial funding would be available outside of the West End of London.
“The highly successful Hippodrome in Birmingham have been forced to lay off staff and I am particularly concerned for the many arts venues and performing artists in Lichfield District including at The Lichfield Garrick and The Hub at St Mary’s. I was pleased that the Prime Minister was able to assure me that the Arts Council will be directing funds to the regions.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions, the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle introduced Michael:-
The Speaker: “We’re heading to the shadows of Lichfield Cathedral with Michael Fabricant!”
Michael Fabricant: “It’s not just the 800-year old Lichfield Cathedral which we have, we’ve also got the beautiful leafy lanes, and wonderful restaurants and bars. But I’ll tell you what we also have; and that is the Lichfield Garrick, which is a major theatre in the area, and The Hub at St Mary’s.
And so what I’d like to know is this: I welcome the £1.7 billion grant that’s been given to support our theatres and performing artists, but are we going to see any of it at all outside of the West End, and here in Lichfield?”
The Prime Minister: “I can tell my Honourable Friend that Lichfield has been at the centre of our cultural life since Dr Johnson and David Garrick made their famous walk and ride from Lichfield to London in the 18th century, and will continue to be so, and we are working closely with Arts Council England to support and develop the projects which I know are so dear to his heart.”