§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what estimate he has made of the additional costs of works which would be necessary to make the public facilities of the National Theatre building including the buffets, and Cottesloe Theatre accessible to disabled people, including people confined to wheelchairs;
(2) what discussions he has had with the South Bank Theatre Board concerning modification to parts of the National Theatre building including the Cottesloe Theatre to make them easily accessible to disabled people, including people confined to wheelchairs;
(3) if he is satisfied that the design of the National Theatre building meets the requirements of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act;
(4) what modifications would be necessary to the design and construction of the National Theatre building to make all its facilities fully accessible to disabled people, including people confined to wheelchairs.
§ Mr. Mulley
The two main auditoria and almost all the general facilities of the theatre, notwithstanding that it was 389W designed and the contract let before the 1970 Act came into force, are readily accessible to disabled people and the building generally well meets the spirit of the Act. The board has improved access to the terrace of the Olivier Theatre and has under consideration further improvements to the seating arrangements.
Certain problems remain, particularly in connection with the Cottesloe Theatre. The board is considering these and when it has prepared precisely costed proposals my noble Friend will examine them carefully in the light of the resources which can be made available to complete the building.