§ 1. Mr. Spring
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what measures he is proposing to promote tourism in East Anglia; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for National Heritage (Mr. Robert Key)
The English tourist board, which receives grant in aid from my Department, will allocate at least £400,000 to the East Anglia tourist board during this financial year. The total allocation to each regional board has not been settled yet, as a proportion of regional funding will be distributed later in the year by means of a new scheme aimed at directing resources to areas where the industry is most in need of support.
§ Mr. Spring
Is my hon. Friend aware of the opening earlier this year of the Manor House museum in Bury St. Edmunds, which will house the borough's collection of paintings and porcelain and, in particular, its unique collection of clocks? That will further enhance the reputation of Bury St. Edmunds as a great jewel in the crown of East Anglia. Does my hon. Friend agree that the opening of the museum, and so many others like it, demonstrates the flowering of—and interest in—the arts that has come about in the past 10 years?
§ Mr. Key
I have indeed heard about the Manor House museum and its collections, and I know that my hon. Friend has supported it over the past year. It does, of course, represent, a jewel in the crown of East Anglia's tourist attractions; moreover, it confirms the flowering of the arts that has developed over the past decade or so. It is a little-known fact that, over the past 10 years, roughly one museum has opened every two weeks.