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22 February 2018

The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee sought evidence on its Social Impact of Participation in Culture and Sport Inquiry, which closed on 22nd February.


Our response

In our response, we strongly support the role of sports and culture programmes for young people. We consider them to have a significant and positive social impact, including in, but not limited to, the five key areas identified by the Committee.

We support a more coordinated approach to sports and culture by government departments and public bodies, particularly if it results in greater support for those charities already delivering these programmes. Community youth organisations are vehicles for social impact. Youth organisations play a vital role in delivering universal, open-access sports and culture programmes amongst young people. They do this by providing fun and trusted spaces for young people to get active and express themselves. However, this is the start of their impact, rather than the end; young people can seek advice, access services, learn skills, forge relationships, develop personally, and find where they fit into their communities.


About the consultation

On 22 February 2018, the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee closed submissions for its inquiry into the social impact of participation in culture and sport.

The Committee focused on the link between culture and sport and a wide range of benefits in the following area:

  • Social mobility
  • Health
  • Crime reduction
  • Education
  • Community engagement
  • Diversity
  • The legacy of the Olympics may also be considered as part of the inquiry

The Committee wanted to hear from specific case studies of success. There is no single cross-Government strategy of support for this work – alongside funding from Arts Council England and other government bodies, projects are largely run by charities and private organisations. Often projects are delivered in isolation rather than in partnership with public bodies which could extend their reach and influence. The inquiry would seek to draw the Government’s attention to the importance of these activities and ‘join up’ currently separated departmental efforts.

The terms of reference for the inquiry were:

  • Which programmes best demonstrate the positive social impact that participating in sport and culture can have on the five central themes of this inquiry?
  • How can access to cultural and sporting professions be improved to enable greater diversity? How can the Government build a pipeline of talent?
  • Why has the Government not coordinated its efforts more effectively?
  • Where are the examples of departmental best practice and how could it be shared?
  • Has the sport sector been better for social mobility than the arts? If so, why?
  • How can museums, galleries and other cultural venues boost access and social impact?

Samuel Howell, Policy Officer