§ Mr. Hanley
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the future funding of the British Geological Survey.
§ Mr. MacGregor
Last year, pending further work on defining the British Geological Survey's (BGS) core programme and its future financial and funding arrangements, an additional £3 million was made available in 1989–90 with planning additions of £4 million in 1990–91 and £5 million in 1991–92. I have now considered the outcome of this work conducted by the BGS programme board and by a group of officials, from relevant Government Departments and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and have concluded that the survey has the potential to generate more of its income from the users of geological information, and that this should be the source of any funds needed to accelerate the rate at which it conducts its core surveying.
In order to facilitate this process, I am providing additional investment for the national geosciences information service, to allow better access to, and marketing of, the survey's geological information and its interpretation. I am therefore making available to the survey, through the NERC, a further £1 million in 1990–91, £2 million in 1991–92 and £3 million in 1992–93. With these once and for all additions, the science budget income to the BGS should provide a secure base for the development of the survey's activities in the years ahead.