HC Deb 14 June 1993 vol 226 cc628-9
15. Ms Eagle

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the current level of support for the British film industry; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke

My Department plans to spend £24.4 million on film support in 1993–94. In the 1979–80 financial year, direct Government support for film amounted to some £12.5 million at 1993 prices. The Eady levy on box office receipts raised a further £17.25 million at 1993 prices in support of the film industry.

Ms Eagle

Will the Secretary of State acknowledge that, as was said earlier, our film industry has many great talents in all areas of production—acting, directing and so—on but that other film industries around the world are being given a great deal of Government support to attract investment mainly from America and having production happen in their countries? What is the Government's reaction to what is happening in the global film market? What will his Department do to ensure that Britain's national pool of talent is preserved and expanded?

Mr. Brooke

I salute the hon. Lady for the seriousness of her question. In terms of support in other parts of the Community—perhaps I should confine myself to that at this juncture—some of the subsidy support is going straightforwardly on liguistic grounds for the cultural side of film and ensuring that films continue to be made in specific languages. I have taken the trouble to find out what assistance is available throughout the film industry and what it is in terms of the rest of the world. Because of that, we are having the conversations that I described earlier with different sectors of the industry.