Cheltenham's MP hails town as a 'cultural powerhouse' in Parliament


Cheltenham's MP, Alex Chalk, has heaped praise on the town's cultural institutions during a speech in Parliament. Seizing the opportunity to promote Cheltenham's iconic theatres, the Playhouse and the Everyman, he asked the Culture Minister Ed Vaizey what the Government ''are doing to support cultural hubs, such as Cheltenham's Everyman and Playhouse theatres, which are so important for the town's cultural offer and its economy during the rest of the year?''

In his response the Mr Vaizey reiterated Mr Chalk's comments, describing the Everyman as ''an outstanding theatre'', before highlighting its place in the national portfolio and its position as a recent beneficiary of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. He went on to praise the Playhouse theatre, pointing out that it may also be eligible for capital grants.

Speaking following his intervention, Cheltenham's man in Westminster commented ''Cheltenham is a cultural powerhouse, with its festivals, theatres, racecourse, and much more, so I'm delighted this status is also recognised in Parliament. I will continue to work closely with our town's cultural institutions to ensure they receive the support they need, and praise they deserve.''

You can read the full exchange below:

 Alex Chalk Conservative, Cheltenham

Through its famous annual festivals in literature, food, science, performing arts, jazz and poetry, Cheltenham is a cultural powerhouse, but what are the Government doing to support cultural hubs such as Cheltenham’s Everyman and Playhouse theatres, which are so important for the town’s cultural offer and its economy during the rest of the year?

Ed Vaizey Minister of State (Culture Media and Sport) (Digital Industries) (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State (Business, Innovation and Skills) (Digital Industries) (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

The Everyman is an outstanding theatre, which is why it is part of the national portfolio and receives a grant from the Arts Council—indeed, it has recently undergone a significant refurbishment and benefited from money from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Playhouse, as an amphitheatre, no doubt would still potentially have access to capital grants or programme grants. Of course, we have recently introduced a theatre tax credit, which will help them all.