HC Deb 01 June 1998 vol 313 cc5-6
5. Mr. Phil Sawford (Kettering)

What plans he has to support the performing arts in Kettering. [41990]

The Minister for Arts (Mr. Mark Fisher)

Kettering has benefited from several national lottery awards totalling £1.7 million, including a £1.2 million award for a new performing arts centre at the Latimer school in Kettering.

Mr. Sawford

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. We welcome the funding for the arts centre at Latimer school in my constituency, which will provide a much-needed facility for young people at the school and for the wider community. How will the latest lottery reforms help budding young artists and performers in my constituency and in the rest of the country?

Mr. Francis Maude (Horsham)

They will make things worse.

Mr. Fisher

They will not, as the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) suggests, make things worse: on the contrary, the reforms will help by getting more money out to the regions so that decisions can be made more strategically and money can be spent more coherently, especially on projects, such as the one in my hon. Friend's constituency, which link community arts work to education. The strategy will develop a new generation of audiences in towns such as Kettering, and will bring out the creative talent of young people who may be the artists of the future.

Mr. Edward Garnier (Harborough)

The Minister will appreciate that probably the best and most well-known theatre in the Kettering area is that in Market Harborough.

Madam Speaker

The question is about the Kettering area. I know the hon. and learned Gentleman's constituency very well, and the distance between the two areas. We are talking about Kettering.

Mr. Garnier

You are quite right, Madam Speaker, although the distance between Market Harborough and Kettering is nought, because that is the boundary; besides, as you will know from your local knowledge, many people from the Kettering constituency come to the Market Harborough theatre.

Madam Speaker

But how many people from Market Harborough go to the theatre in Kettering? The hon. and learned Gentleman's question is not in order and we shall go no further with it.