Cabinet has given the green light to the Cultural Industries Development Bill.

This disclosure has come from Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, who said the Bill was approved recently after extensive and detailed consultations with all of his Ministry’s stakeholders.

In a recent interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, Mr. Lashley described the Bill as "a forward-looking piece of legislation that will position Barbados in the forefront of regional development of the sector".

??He continued: "On becoming law, it will give this island another economic platform on which it can depend, since it relies solely on the creativity of its human resource. It will enable the sector to become a viable one, capable of making a significant contribution to the country’s GDP."

The Minister noted that the Bill, which will have to be taken to Parliament when it re-convenes, "is comprehensive in its scope".

Cultural industries include three broad areas – arts, which incorporates the performing, visual and literary aspects; design, which includes advertising, architecture, web and software, graphics and communications; and media, which include broadcast, digital media, film and video, recorded music and publishing.

According to Mr. Lashley, the Bill provides for the establishment of a regulatory framework to facilitate and encourage the sustainable growth and development of cultural industries, funding for cultural projects, as well as duty free concessions and income tax benefits in respect of cultural projects.

He pointed out that cultural industries had become major drivers of developed and developing economies over the past 20 years.


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