§ Mr. Robert Cooke
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps designed to assist the museums in the provinces to play a more lively part in the communities which they serve.
§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
The majority of museums and galleries in the provinces are the responsibility of the local authorities and other bodies who maintain them. It is for these bodies to decide how to plan the development of their institutions in order to meet the needs of the community. The Government will continue to make the maximum resources available to the area museum councils so that they can assist local museums and galleries to improve their standards of conservation and display and to take advantage of travelling exhibitions. The museum councils grant for the current financial year is treble that of 1973–74, and in the last year I have visited many museums in the regions which play a lively and increasing rôle in local community life.