§ 33. Mr. Chapman
asked the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement about the work of the Crafts Council and its funding.
§ The Minister for the Arts (Mr. Richard Luce)
I fully support the work of the Crafts Council in promoting the wider practice and appreciation of the crafts. I am maintaining its funding broadly in line with inflation.
§ Mr. Chapman
Does my right hon. Friend welcome the priority that is given by the Crafts Council to the marketing and design of a wide range of craft products? Will he confirm that this has a beneficial spin-off for a wide range of industry, including exports? Will he bear that in mind sympathetically when he comes to review the continuation of a grant to the Crafts Council?
§ Mr. Luce
I much endorse what my hon. Friend has said. The council is doing an excellent job under the leadership of its chairman, Sir Nevil Macready, whose chairmanship has now been renewed. In the increased grant that I gave I was glad to be able specifically to allocate £100,000 to regional development, especially for marketing work, to help craftsmen to market their crafts and objects of art more effectively and to export them more effectively.