Miriam Margolyes and Tony Robinson urge PM to support creative industries

Miriam Margolyes and Tony Robinson were among a group of actors who handed a letter in to Downing Street calling for “support for the creative industries”.

The letter was written by actress Maureen Beattie, who is president of performers’ union Equity, and calls for protections for the BBC, as well as an increase in funding for the arts in the next budget.

It also asks for the creation of a European visa for people working in the creative industries and for there to be a greater emphasis on the arts in education.

Equity petition
The letter was handed in on Friday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The letter states: “Support our call for a reciprocal and affordable two-year visa for all creative workers covering all EU member states and eliminating the need for carnets and other permits.

“Spread investment in the creative industries around the UK. The best place to start is to restore local authority funding.

“Place arts and creative subjects back at the heart of the curriculum and direct the Government’s arts pupil premium towards ensuring that every child has the opportunity to experience theatre.

“Increase funding for the arts to 0.5% of GDP in the forthcoming budget – a crucial investment for our economy.”

Equity represents more than 48,000 people working in creative industries including film, television and live entertainment.

Equity petition
Robinson was among those to hand the petition in to number 10 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Blackadder star Robinson said: “Artists working in the entertainment industry across the UK rely on free movement across Europe with tours, performances, filming and travel regularly required at short notice.

“Without measures to allow creative workers to travel freely, thousands of people will be in danger of losing their livelihoods.”

Margoyles, who starred in the Harry Potter films, said that the Government “must protect the BBC and preserve one of the UK’s most valuable institutions for future generations”.

She added: “At its best, the BBC allows us to understand each other through world class news, documentary and drama.

“We must not diminish or destroy its positive cultural power.”

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