HC Deb 25 July 1988 vol 138 cc15-6
48. Mr. Campbell-Savours

To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will establish an inquiry into production costs at the National Theatre.

Table showing sponsorships of and donations to the arts in excess of £1 million since January 1988
Organisation Donor Amount Date of announcement Purpose
South Bank Programme British and Commonwealth Holdings (sponsorship) £1 million (over 5 years) January 1988 Music
Tate Gallery Anonymous US$6.5 million 20 June 1988 To set up American Fund for Tate Gallery
National Gallery Mr. Walter Annenberg, KBE £2.85 million 22 June 1988 Restoration of Impressionist and post-Impressionist rooms
Mr. Luce

The Arts Council evaluates the work of its clients on a regular basis, and I see no need to intervene. Assessments take account of all aspects of the National Theatre's performance—artistic, financial and managerial.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

If the costs of the National Theatre are escalating and its grant is cut, as it was in real terms this year, how can it afford to pay proper wages and salaries to all its employees? Will the Minister ensure that next year the National Theatre is given enough grant to ensure that those people are properly remunerated?

Mr. Luce

For the first time in its history the National Theatre is entitled to make arrangements with the Arts Council for three-year funding, which gives it a solid base upon which to plan in the long term. It has excellent management, an excellent artistic director, an excellent administrator and an excellent board, which has authority over the progress of the theatre. They are doing their best to raise resources, not just from Government, but from the private sector. The more they can do that, the more they will strengthen their affairs in the long term. In addition, they are entitled to incentive funding, if they qualify, and to extra funds for touring the country, which should bring benefits to them as well as to the regions

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