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Creative industries’ diversity to be focus of new all-party parliamentary group

The House of Lords committee will investigate the impact of the 2003 Licensing Act. Photo: Chbaum/Shutterstock The House of Lords committee will investigate the impact of the 2003 Licensing Act. Photo: Chbaum/Shutterstock
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A new cross-party group dedicated to improving diversity in the creative industries has been established, and will be chaired by former culture minister Ed Vaizey.

The all-party parliamentary group for creative diversity hopes to hold roundtable meetings every two months, each focusing on individual industries including theatre, music and film.

The group’s vice chairs will include peers Floella Benjamin, Jane Bonham-Carter and Deborah Bull, as well as cross-party MPs including Tracy Brabin, Luciana Berger, Chi Onwurah, Sharon Hodgson, Helen Grant and Rupa Huq.

The group will run alongside existing APPGs including the Performers’ Alliance and groups on arts in health and education, but it will focus specifically on engaging with creative organisations to “identify obstacles to diversity in recruitment, retention and development processes”.

From the meetings, recommendations will be made to both government and industry.

Vaizey, who held a number of diversity roundtables when he was culture minister, said: “Our creative industries are flourishing, but we still have a long way to go in terms of diversity and inclusivity.

“Take television, for example. According to Directors UK, between 2013 and 2016, just 2.22% of episodes on the main channels were made by black, Asian and minority ethnic directors – and the proportion of female directors dropped in the same period. It’s clear that more needs to be done and I hope that this APPG can be the catalyst for real change across the sector.”

The day-to-day running of the group will be carried out by Alex Pleasants, from Vaizey’s office, and Joanna Abeyie, founder of inclusive recruitment business Hyden Talent.

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