Election 2010: what would the three main parties do to the arts?

What Labour would do

  • A biennial Festival of Britain to celebrate British achievements in the arts
  • A nationwide reduced-rate ticket scheme to mimic the National Theatre's £10 deals
  • After 2012, Lottery money diverted to the Olympics will return to the arts
  • Creative bursaries to support artistically gifted young people at the start of their careers
  • Free admission to museums and galleries will be maintained
  • Every child will have lifetime library membership from birth

What the Conservatives would do

  • Rebuild our "broken economy" by making Britain a hub for hi-tech, digital and creative industries
  • Promote and protect a strong and independent BBC by ensuring that it is properly audited by the National Audit Office
  • The Tory shadow culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, promises the arts "won't be singled out" for cuts under a Tory government, although "the honest position to take is to say that it is going to be tough in every department"

What the Lib Dems would do

  • Maintain free entry to national museums and galleries and open up the government art collection for greater public use
  • Set up a creative enterprise fund offering training, mentoring and small grants or loans to help creative businesses get off the ground
  • Cut red tape for putting on live music by reducing the need to apply for entertainment licences
  • Use cash in dormant betting accounts to set up a capital fund for improving local sports facilities and supporting clubs
  • Ensure that the BBC remains strong, free from interference and securely funded