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Press Release

The Mayor has appointed Chris Smith as Chair of the London Cultural Consortium
9-12-2004   476

London Mayor Ken Livingstone today named the Rt Hon Chris Smith MP as the new chair of the London Cultural Consortium (Mayor's Cultural Strategy Group).

The London Cultural Consortium has been established as a restructured Cultural Strategy Group, with a new membership and role. The aim is to take forward the implementation of the Mayor's Culture Strategy for London, which was published in April. The ten-year framework to develop London as a centre of cultural excellence and creativity is the first strategic and co-ordinated approach to arts, sport, heritage and creative industries in the capital.

The Mayor said: 'For the first time, London has a unified voice to advocate and lobby for culture in the capital. Chris Smith has a track record established over many years in promoting arts and culture and his experience will be a valuable asset to the work of the London Cultural Consortium. As Chair, Chris will have a key role in taking forward my culture strategy and helping the capital to maintain its international position at the forefront of culture.'

Chris Smith said: 'When I started the regional consortiums as Secretary of State, I wanted them to be strong voices for culture in their region, organisations that could draw people and activities together, see the whole cultural picture and not just the individual parts, set ambitious strategies, and have innovative ideas.

'Nowhere are these things more important than here in London, which has a vibrant cultural and creative life, ranging from the grandest of national institutions to the liveliest of local activities. The creative industries represent one of the most important areas of the capital's economy. Drawing all of this together, and taking forward a strategy for the future, represents a real opportunity. I'm honoured to have the chance to take it up.'
Chris Smith is the Director of the Clore Leadership Programme, which aims to help in cultivating a new generation of cultural leaders for the UK. He was first elected as Member of Parliament for Islington South & Finsbury in 1983, becoming the first Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in 1997.

Vice Chair appointments and other members will be announced when the consortium meets for the first time in the New Year.

Notes to Editors

  1. The London Cultural Consortium has been established as a restructured Cultural Strategy Group, following the recommendations of a Working Group consisting of members of the Culture Steering Group and members of Cultural Partners for London (CPfL), which was set up to bring forward recommendations on the remit and function of a LCC, its membership, committee structure and executive requirements.
  2. The Mayor is required to produce a cultural strategy for London and was assisted in its development by the Cultural Strategy Group, chaired by Assembly member Jennette Arnold and including representatives of organisations involved in the delivery of cultural activity in the capital. The London Cultural Consortium will advise and assist the Mayor in implementing the strategy.
  3. The Mayor's culture strategy has four key objectives focused on: excellence, creativity, access and value. Underpinning each of these objectives is the principle of diversity.
  4. The cultural sector generates between £25 billion and £29 billion per annum, employs more than 500,000 people in the creative industries alone and is second only to financial services in the wealth it creates.
  5. Cultural Partners for London is a partnership of cultural agencies in London consisting of Association of London Government, English Heritage (London region), Heritage Lottery Fund (London region), London Archives Regional Council, London Arts, London Film Commission, London Film and Video Development Agency, London International Sport, London Museums Agency, London Libraries Development Agency, Sport England (London region), Visit London and the Community Fund (London).

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