The Northern Culture All Party Parliamentary Group, supported by Northumbria University, will call for evidence from key voices and stakeholders across the North on how to increase diversity, sustainability, accessibility and resilience in the region's culture.
The six-month inquiry will gather evidence and produce a bespoke ‘State of the North’ report on northern culture, which will include recommendations to help inform, shape and influence future government decision-making and a post-Covid action plan.
Professor Katy Shaw, Director of Cultural Partnerships at Northumbria University said: “The North’s cultural industry has been hit hard by Covid-19 and faces an historic challenge as the global pandemic continues to affect our everyday lives.
“The strength of the North lies in its diversity. With that in mind, we would like to encourage everyone and anyone who wants to give evidence to step forward and speak-up. The inquiry needs to hear your voice, your perspective and your thoughts on the future of northern culture.
“Northumbria University has a long and proud history of working with cultural partners and stakeholders across the North and beyond, and I have seen what can be achieved when academia and the cultural sector align in pursuit of a shared vision.
“This important inquiry will help influence thinking and shape the debate on northern culture and drill-down into what is needed to level-up social and economic opportunities for the North. It will work to reframe the role of northern culture in a post-covid world.”
The inquiry is led by the Northern Culture APPG’s co-chairs, Labour MP for Sunderland Central Julie Elliott and Conservative MP for Bury North James Daly.
Ms Elliott said: “In our towns and cities across the North which once buzzed with activity, from live music shows, to theatre productions, to art galleries, and to nightclubs, it all, very suddenly, went quiet. Tickets weren’t sold, shows weren’t attended, opportunities disappeared, and ultimately, jobs were lost.
“This is why the return of the cultural sector post-Covid is so important. Not only does it enrich our everyday lives, but it provides highly skilled jobs to so many people, through the work of technicians, producers, electricians, stage managers and a range of different roles on all different levels.
"It’s a sector in which the UK is world renowned, exporting these incredible skill sets right across the world, with big industries seeking out those who have developed in the creative industries of the North of England.
“We cannot let the cultural sector in the North fall by the wayside – and the best people to tell us how to stop this from happening, is the very people who made the sector so strong in the first place."