Image Source: Tim Green
Matthew Neville

Bradford Literature Festival announces cultural ‘Levelling Up’ conference with expert lineup

Bradford Literature Festival (BLF) has today announced the line-up for the Creative Economic Conference (CEC), which will focus on the importance of the creative industries to the UK economy, placing the cultural sector at the heart of ‘levelling up’ in the North through economic and social regeneration.

National and northern economic and creative sector specialists will come together in the city on June 24 at the University of Bradford to share knowledge and best practice through expert opinion, debate, discussion with business leaders, creative organisations, practitioners, and those setting off on their journey in the economic or creative sectors.

The day will feature panel discussions on topics including Levelling Up in the North, The Future of TV, Digital Currency, Art and Activism, Universal Basic Income, Digital Poverty and more.

The festival’s Creative Economic Conference combines two essential themes that “aren’t commonly discussed together”: culture and economics and will see experts from across the sectors tackle the most “urgent and impactful” challenges facing the creative industries today.

The conference kicks off with introductory remarks by Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, followed by a keynote address by television executive, and co-chair of the Creative Industries Council Sir Peter Bazalgette on Inclusive Growth in the Creative Industries.

Peter is set to share the philosophy behind A Sector Vision, an upcoming report about the latest government industrial strategy Build Back Better - A Plan for Growth and will ask how this might impact the North and its creative sectors.

Andy Haldane, CEO of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), will end the day by delivering the inaugural BLF Cultural Sector Lecture, exploring the crucial role arts and culture play in social regeneration, and what the future of work may look like.

The lecture will also address the importance of lifelong learning, themes that have been central to the RSA for over 200 years. Fresh from heading up the government’s levelling-up task force, Andy has described the levelling up agenda as “one of the signature challenges of our time” and “addressing regional disparities as a personal passion”.

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