HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 cc1-2
1. Mrs. Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside)

If he will make a statement on support for music and the theatre in Liverpool. [50767]

The Minister for Arts (Mr. Mark Fisher)

The arts in Liverpool received £4.1 million in 1997–98. Of this, around £540,000 was for drama and £1.75 million for music. In addition, Liverpool received £16.2 million in arts-related lottery awards.

Mrs. Ellman

Is my hon. Friend aware that the National Campaign for the Arts hailed last week's announcement about additional funding for the arts as an "unprecedented and visionary move"? Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that the support that he has already mentioned, together with the additional funds, will enable the Playhouse theatre to reopen, the Everyman theatre to have security and proper recognition to be given to the local, regional, national and international importance of the great Royal Liverpool philharmonic orchestra?

Mr. Fisher

As my hon. Friend said, the £290 million of additional funding awarded to this Department last week was the biggest step forward in cultural investment for many years, and includes £130 million extra over the next three years for the Arts Council and the performing arts. Obviously, it is for the Arts Council to decide how to spend that money, but I know that a great city such as Liverpool, with its track record in the arts, will make a very strong case both to the North-West arts board and to the Arts Council.

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