HC Deb 23 November 1987 vol 123 c13
67. Mr. Boyes

To ask the Minister for Arts whether he plans to visit the national museum of photography in the next three months.

The Minister for the Arts (Mr. Richard Luce)

I have no such plans, although I enjoyed my visit to the museum in September last year.

Mr. Boyes

Does the Minister agree that the museum in Bradford is a highly successful centre of excellence for photography? Is he aware that it is expected to attract a million visitors next year, making it the most successful museum outside London? During his visit, however, he will have become aware of the desperate need for capital investment, which has not been forthcoming from the private sector. Will he make Government funds available urgently for maintenance and further development at Bradford?

Mr. Luce

First, I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on the lead that he takes in matters of photography and on the exhibition of hon. Members' photography that he is arranging from next Monday, which I hope will live up to his expectations and standards.

The hon. Gentleman is right to point out that the number of visitors to the national museum of photography is rising rapidly. In 1986 there was an increase of 24 per cent, on the previous year, and I hope that that trend will continue. With regard to investment, I have already announced that in my three-year funding proposals there will be a 16 per cent, increase over three years in funding for museums and galleries. A large proportion of that funding will be earmarked for building and maintenance purposes.

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