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Who is Tracy Brabin? Meet the woman who went from Weatherfield to Westminster

MP Tracy Brabin exploring ideas to boost our cultural industry

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin

Gig buddies, an apprentice scheme to work in the creative and cultural industry and developing film opportunities are among the plans of Batley and Spen’s newest MP.

Tracy Brabin, a former actress, is using her contacts to bring about a boost to Batley and Spen’s culture.

The Labour MP said: “There is no reason we can’t bring more cultural industry to our area.

“We already have great opportunities with Screen Yorkshire and the TV studios, but we can look at how we can boost the creative industry in other ways.

“I can’t do it all on my own, but I can take an idea and get different groups together and explore it.

“I heard about the idea for Gig Buddies which links music fans who have a learning disability with other music lovers.

“People volunteer to take someone with a learning disability to a gig, so it helps increase the scope of opportunities for the people with learning disabilities, increases volunteering and it gives the music industry a bigger audience as it’ll get more people going to gigs.

“There is no reason we can’t introduce that in Batley and Spen.”

Tracy Brabin making her maiden speech in the House of Commons

She’s also exploring ideas for an apprentice institute which would see young people take apprenticeships in TV and other media.

But with the purse strings closing on the arts, does she worry about funding. She said: “Absolutely, I was in a meeting with the government minister and members of all four parties at Kirklees Council begging for more money.

“I understand what is vital for funding, so we have to explore other ways of funding creativity.

“There is evidence that suggests an arts curriculum and people going to the theatre makes you a more emphatic citizen, we need a world of empathy for others.

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“It’s heart-breaking that some museums like the Red House have had to close, but can we now look at consolidating with others?

“Can the artefacts from the Red House pop-up at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park?”

She’s using social media to reach out and helping promote a trainee director scheme at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

She jokes she’s come “a long way from Weatherfield to Westminster” but using her industry experience as an actress and screenwriter has already seen her branch out into other areas as an MP, and she’s now looking at maternity rights for women in the industry.

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