HC Deb 20 May 1996 vol 278 c9
7. Lady Olga Maitland

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many art galleries have been awarded funds from the national lottery. [28763]

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

Art galleries throughout the United Kingdom have benefited from national lottery grants. To date, there have been 34 awards for a total of £74 million, ranging from £50 million to the Tate gallery of modern art at Bankside to £59,865 to the Focal Point gallery in Southend-on-Sea.

Lady Olga Maitland

I thank my right hon. Friend for her very encouraging news. Can she confirm that that proves that not only flagship galleries such as the Tate gallery and National gallery benefit from the national lottery, but that dozens of small galleries throughout the country also benefit, I understand, to the tune of £2 million? Can she confirm that there is very much more to come? The decision to make those disbursements is taken by the Museums and Galleries Commission, which is to be congratulated on its excellent work in keeping such marvellous work alive.

Mrs. Bottomley

I share my hon. Friend's commendation of the Museums and Galleries Commission, which is involved in ensuring that standards are maintained and new developments pursued. She is right to say that we want, not only the big battalions, but the small platoons to be funded by the national lottery. That focus on local involvement and participation is the message of our document "People Taking Part", and on the museum side it is very much the message of what is likely to be an extremely successful national museums week this week.

Mr. Pike

Does the Secretary of State accept that museums and art galleries such as Towneley hall in Burnley are extremely important to local people? Will she do everything possible to support them and ensure that they continue to receive support from the national lottery, to help them to provide art locally, where it is accessible to people, near where they live?

Mrs. Bottomley


Forward to