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Culture and Leisure: the National Picture

The importance of culture, leisure and sport in addressing issues such as social inclusion, health and crime is becoming increasingly apparent. Government Offices work with a range of regional and local partners to identify where links can be made with other government programmes at local level.



Government Offices provide a regional focus for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) policies on sport, arts, museums and galleries, libraries and archives, heritage and architecture, the creative industries (music, film and broadcasting), tourism, the lottery, licensing and gambling.

Government Offices help promote DCMS’ strategic priorities by:

  • Increasing access for children and young people to culture and sport
  • Improving the take up of cultural and sporting opportunities by adults and young people aged 16 and above, from priority groups
  • Ensuring DCMS sponsored bodies are efficient and work effectively with others to meet cultural and sporting needs of individuals and communities
  • Maximising the contribution that tourism and the creative and leisure industries can make to economic development and regeneration

This involves much partnership working with a wide range of regional bodies, local authorities, the voluntary sector and private organisations, with Government Offices taking a cross-departmental approach to ensure cohesion of policy delivery.

Government Offices work to promote and integrate the culture agenda, not only in the work of local authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships, but also within the major regional strategies such as the Regional Economic Strategies and the Regional Spatial Strategies.

In London the Government Office for London plays a key role in liaising with the Greater London Authority.

Outside London, Government Offices work closely with the Regional Cultural Consortiums. These champion the whole spectrum of cultural and creative interests in each region, including tourism and sport. The Consortiums provide a strong regional focus, bringing together all those with interests in the cultural sectors; they also have a role in central policy-making, regional data collection and research. Government Offices support the Consortiums in the implementation of their Regional Cultural Strategies and action plans.

The Government Office network also supports tourism initiatives and works closely with regional offices of the Lottery distributing bodies. We also work to increase understanding of how creative industries and tourism can contribute much to regeneration and economic development, with an emphasis on neighbourhood renewal, education and health.

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