Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Bristol’s arts and culture praised in Parliament debate

7 July 2013

Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo was in the Speaker’s chair yesterday for a debate about arts and the creative industries in the UK in which embattled Culture Secretary Maria Miller praised the “refurbished and regenerated” Bristol Old Vic.

Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, managed to shoehorn Aardman, the Arnolfini and Banksy into her speech during the debate, and take a dig at Cardiff for “stealing Casualty from us”.

“In Bristol, it is not just the highbrow, publicly funded, mainstream creative scene that is thriving,” McCarthy said.

“The city is also renowned for its counter-culture scene. Banksy is obviously the most notable example of that.

“A 2010 PRS for Music survey showed Bristol as the UK’s most musical city, with more songwriters per capita originating from the city than from any other place.

“Bristol is probably best known for the groundbreaking group of musicians that emerged in the 1990s and included Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead and Roni Size.”

Bristol West’s Stephen Williams also mentioned the Bristol Institute of Modern Music, within his own constituency in King Square, “where a lot of the pop musicians of the future are being trained without public subsidy”.

Perhaps today’s MPs might get their own statues after all.

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