Natalie McGarry – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Natalie McGarry on 2016-09-12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps she has taken to increase the participation of people living with disabilities in (a) sports and (c) the arts.

Tracey Crouch

Government recognises the importance of sport and physical activity to disabled people who take part at both grassroots and the elite level. Our new sport strategy, ‘Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation’, published in December 2015, emphasises the importance of getting people active, particularly those groups currently under-represented, including disabled people.

Between 2011 and 2017 Sport England is investing over £170 million to get more disabled people playing sport. It published its own strategy for England,Towards an Active Nation on 19 May, which sets out how it intends to deliver against the government’s sport strategy. This includes a specific focus on disabled people who are less likely to regularly take part in physical activity.

We believe that everyone should have access to arts and culture – having a disability should not be a barrier to enjoying Britain’s awe-inspiring cultural treasures. That is why we are working with venues and organisations representing disabled people to identify barriers to access. Arts Council England has also made a significant change in its approach to diversity by launching The Creative Case for Diversity, which asks the organisations it funds to make themselves and their work more reflective of the communities they serve. As part of Arts Council’s investment in diversity and The Creative Case, four new strategic funds for diversity were announced in December 2015, totaling £8.6 million. This included a new £2.6 million Change Makers fund to build long-term relationships between National Portfolio Organisations and aspiring arts leaders from the BME and deaf and disabled communities, and Unlimited, which will support the development of a range of new work by deaf and disabled artists.