§ Mr. Couchman
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Government have for the future of the historic dockyard at Chatham once it has been vacated by the Ministry of Defence.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
The Government have decided to adopt the concept of a "living dockyard" which was suggested in a report by consultants jointly commissioned by my Department and Kent county council. This will involve the retention of as many as possible of the existing buildings in their original use and the conversion of other parts of the historic yard to suitable new activities which will both preserve and bring new life to it. The whole complex will be opened to the general public.
It is our intention to set up a trust to promote and manage this project which will be given a Government endowment of£11 million, much of it for the proper maintenance of the many scheduled buildings.
This expenditure will be met from within the existing public expenditure provisions of the Department of the Environment and the Ministry of Defence. The necessary cash limit adjustments will be announced in due course.