HC Deb 16 July 1984 vol 64 cc17-8
27. Mr. Janner

asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether Her Majesty's Government will take steps to encourage the theatre in the east midlands.

Mr. Waldegrave

My noble Friend is concerned to encourage theatre and other arts throughout the country, within the resources available.

Mr. Janner

Do the resources available include the so-called "Glory of the Garden" development policy and, if so, will the Minister confirm that Leicester's brillaint but hard-pressed Haymarket theatre will qualify for both aspects of the grant—that to which it is entitled as of right and that which it will receive because it has always succeeded in raising a substantial proportion of what it needs from sources other than the Arts Council?

Mr. Waldegrave

As the hon. and learned Gentleman is doubtless aware, the Haymarket receives a substantial sum from the Arts Council—£323,000 at present—and, as I understand it, there is no proposal in the strategy document to change the relationship between the Arts Council and the Haymarket theatre.

Mr. Hickmet

Is my hon. Friend aware that the opera house at Buxton, which is also used as a theatre, has been renovated in recent years? Is he further aware that the Buxton festival is now one of the most important regional festivals in Europe and that it has been starved of funds by the Arts Council? Accordingly, will my hon. Friend ask the chairman of the Arts Council to ensure that adequate funds are made available to the Buxton festival so that it can continue to put on world-class performances?

Mr. Waldegrave

It is not for me or my noble Friend to make representations on behalf of particular companies. Companies must make their own representations to the Arts Council, whose duty it is to make the decisions.