Friday saw the official launch of this years’ IF festival in Milton Keynes and launch of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Parnership’s Cultural Strategy with Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, Dr Ann Limb, Chair of South East Midlands Partnership, Councillor Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council and Monica Ferguson, Festival Director. This is the ‘third edition’ of IF, which takes place every two years. I joined Andrew Pakes and Emily Darlington, Labour’s Parliamentary candidates for Milton Keynes at the event. I spoke at the launch about the importance of the arts to our communities across the UK and to all of us as individuals. IF is a great example of partnership between the Arts Council, Milton Keynes Council, businesses and arts organisations and demonstrates the world-class nature of arts that can be delivered locally.
The IF festival has been transforming Central Milton Keynes a with world class, multi-arts programme of extraordinary events in unusual places and public spaces since 2010. The last IF Festival attracted over 90,000 people and generated over £4million for the local economy.