HL Deb 16 December 1985 vol 469 cc648-50WA
Lord Strabolgi

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are in a position to announce the allocation of the arts and libraries expenditure programme for 1986–87.

Lord Belstead

The central government element of the arts and libraries programme has been set at £321 million for 1986–87, an increase of nearly 18 per cent. in cash over the corresponding provision for 1985–86. Subject to parliamentary approval of the Supply Estimates, the proposed main 1986–87 allocations are listed below. The greater part of the increase reflects the additional central funding for the performing arts, film and museums, following the abolition of the Greater London Council and the metropolitan county councils. The grants to most bodies directly supported from the central government programme will be broadly in line with the provisional forward planning figures for 1986–87 given to them last January. But it has been possible in some cases to make modest additional provision for new developments or other special needs.

As announced to the House on 14th November 1985 (Volume 468, cols. 398–406) the grant to the Arts Council in 1986–87 will be £135.6 million, including increased central post-abolition funding of £25 million. The grant to the British Film Institute will be £9.738 million (20 per cent. more than in 1985–86): this includes £1.3 million for post-abolition funding, and a further £0.3 million above its provisional planning figure to help with matching funding for film production and with the institute's accommodation needs.

For the major museums and galleries affected by the abolition of the GLC and metropolitan county councils, the following arrangements are proposed. First, an Order in Council will be made under Section 46 of the Local Government Act 1985 to establish a new trustee body with responsibility for the bulk of the museums and galleries hitherto administered by Merseyside County Council. A grant-in-aid of £8.745 million will be made to the trustee body for these institutions in 1986–87. Secondly, a grant-in-aid of £1.075 million will be made in 1986–87 to the existing trustee body responsible for the Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, which has hitherto been funded by Greater Manchester County Council. Thirdly, subject to the enactment of the Museum of London Bill, the Government's grant to that museum will be increased to £2.25 million in 1986–87, reflecting the proposal in the Bill that the Government's share of the museum's main budget will be raised from the present one-third to one-half. Fourthly, my honourable friend the Minister for the Arts is allocating an additional £1¼ million to the Museums and Galleries Commission for pump-priming grants to other museum and gallery services affected by abolition. Finally, some provision for certain affected museums is being channelled separately, as follows: for the Manchester University Museum and Whitworth Gallery, through the University Grants Committee; for the London Historic House Museums, through the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission; and the Geoffrye and Horniman Museums will be maintained by the Inner London Education Authority, whose expenditure limit and grant-related expenditure assessment for 1986–87 take account of this transfer.

A separate announcement will be made in due course following the recent consultations on arrangements for the treatment of revenue generated by the nine national museums and galleries for which my honourable friend is responsible. That announcement will also cover the provision to be made in 1986–87 for those institutions' purchase grants, other net running costs, and the building and maintenance programme undertaken for them by the Property Services Agency. Meanwhile, as regards the other institutions in the museum field for which my honourable friend is responsible, the grant to Sir John Soane's Museum in 1986–87 will be £250,000, including a supplementary allocation towards the improvement of its building and facilities; and, for the Museums and Galleries Commission, an additional provision will be made for increased staffing and accommodation requirements and for the establishment of a new conservation unit to provide advice on conservation facilities and on training opportunities available throughout the country. The £½ million conservation grant fund administered by the commission, introduced two years ago, will be continued in 1986–87, as will the existing schemes of grants for area museum councils and for purchases and capital development by local museums.

As in 1985–86, the grants to the Crafts Council and the National Film and Television School will in 1986–87 include modest additional provision for special regional or capital developments during the year. A token sum is allocated to the South Bank Theatre Board, which is to be wound up as soon as its responsibilities for settling the outstanding accounts for the initial construction and equipping of the National Theatre building have been discharged. The Noted provision for the National Heritage Memorial Fund and for acceptances of art objects in lieu of tax (both of which also receive corresponding sums from Department of the Environment Votes) will remain at the same level as in 1985–86. The new arrangements for supplementing the acceptance in lieu provision, announced on 26th July last (Official Report, Vols. 466–467, cols. 1539–1540) will of course continue to apply.

In view of the sustained success of the Business Sponsorship Incentive Scheme launched in 1984, my honourable friend has decided to make a further increase in its allocation, to £1¾ million next year. This should yield some £6 million or more from combined public and private sources for sponsored activities in arts bodies. Arrangements for 1:1 matching grants for first-time sponsorship and 1:3 matching grants for additional sponsorship will be kept under careful review.

The recurrent grant to the British Library will be increased to £49.8 million in 1986–87, including an allowance towards initial expenditure on its Corn Stores storage project for its lending division in Boston Spa. Provision will be made on the Property Services Agency vote for continued expenditure on construction of the present stage of the Library's new St. Pancras building, and for net expenditure on the Library's existing accommodation. A separate announcement is being made about the next stage of the St. Pancras project. The grant to the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts will be raised to £0.54 million next year, including a special allowance for computerisation of its records. The ceiling for the Public Lending Right Scheme, which was substantially increased to £2¾ million in 1985–86, will remain at that level in 1986–87.

These allocations are within the arts and libraries programme total given in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Autumn Statement. Plans for 1987–88 and 1988–89 will be summarised in the next public expenditure White Paper, and wilt be subject to annual review. Provisional planning figures for those years will be communicated to the arts bodies concerned early in the next year.

Details of the main allocations covered by today's announcement for 1986–87, compared with the provision originally made for 1985–86 (as amended by Supplementary Estimates where relevant), are set out in the following table:

£ million (cash)
1985–86 1986–87
Arts Council 105.000 135.600
British Film Institute 8.075 9.738
National Film and Television School 1.120 1.100
Crafts Council 1.880 1.925
Government Art Collection purchases 0.153 0.155
Business Sponsorship Incentive Scheme 1.250 1.750
South Bank Theatre Board 0.200 0.001
National Heritage Memorial Fund (OAL share) 1.500 1.500
Acceptances in Lieu (OAL Vote share) 1.000 1.000
Museums and Galleries Commission:
Administration 0.380 0.596
Grants to area museum councils etc 2.726 2.781
Local museum purchase grants 1.282 1.282
Post-abolition grant scheme 1.250
Museum of London 1.372 2.250
Merseyside Museums and Galleries 8.745
Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry 1.075
Sir John Soane's Museum 0.232 0.250
British Library current grant 48.254 49.800
British Library capital/maintenance (PSA) 7.245 9.861
Royal Geographical Society 0.054 0.054
Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts 0.412 0.540
Public Lending Right Scheme 2.750 2.750