HC Deb 11 July 1994 vol 246 c658
15. Ms Quin

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what new proposals he has to encourage television and film productions in the regions.

Mr. Brooke

Following the round of consultations that I held last year with different sectors of the film industry, I am considering a number of proposals aimed at encouraging investment in British film production. I will announce the Government's conclusions in due course. However, it is for individual film and television producers to decide where they wish to make their films or programmes, and it would be inappropriate for the Government to offer financial or other inducements favouring one region over another.

Ms Quin

In his consultations, did the Secretary of State come to realise the concern that exists in the regions and in Britain as a whole about the way in which we seem to be losing out, in film opportunities, to other parts of Europe? For example, Scotland lost a film to Ireland and a film about Cornwall was shot in North Rhine-Westphalia because of German support for the film industry. Does the Minister believe that there should be roughly equal terms for film-making throughout Europe?

Mr. Brooke

I am aware of a number of the issues that the hon. Lady mentioned. I am glad to say that last year the number of films made in this country increased and the papers this very weekend contained news of the massive recruitment of extras in the Fort William area to make one film and in Barmouth, Wales for yet another forthcoming production. I agree with the hon. Lady, however, that, just as we have no interest in asserting one region over another within the United Kingdom, it would be desirable if that did not happen in Europe either.