HC Deb 30 July 1974 vol 878 cc125-6W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will now act on the recommendation of the report of the Committee on Provincial Museums and Galleries.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

The report made a large number of recommendations, many directed to local authorities and others who administer museums in the provinces, to whom I have commended the report. Of those that directly concern my Department a number have already been implemented. Increased resources have been made available to the area museum councils to enable them to expand their co-operative schemes of assistance to local museums. The fund administered by the Victoria and Albert Museum to assist local institutions with the cost of acquisition of art objects, has been increased to £400,000 per annum. A new fund of £150,000 per annum has been established, administered by the Science Museum, to help local museums to acquire technological and scientific material.

I have invited the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries to advise me on cases where help from the Exchequer on capital expenditure to assist collections of more than local significance might be justified.

I am taking steps to improve the supply of trained conservators and to promote means by which more objects in the national collections may be periodically displayed in local museums and galleries.

I shall continue to keep in mind the broad issues raised by the committee's recommendations and hope that further progress can be made as resources become available.