HC Deb 05 December 1990 vol 182 cc136-7W
Mr. Fisher

To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will publish tables showing(a) the number of new buildings, (b) the amount spent on new buildings, (c) the amount spent on repairs and maintenance and (d) the amount spent on building renovation by his Department in each of the last five years.

Mr. Renton

Responsibility for the repairs and maintenance of the two properties occupied by my Department rests with the Property Services Agency (PSA). The payments made to it in respect of these works are given the table:

1986–87 26,747
1987–88 24,525
1988–89 36,333
1989–90 41,376
1990–91 52,983

Prior to 1 April 1988, responsibility for the building and maintenance programmes of the national museums and galleries that my Department sponsors and of the British library also rested with the PSA. Expenditure incurred by the PSA, but which was included in the central Government arts programme, was £34.5 million in 1986–87 and £34.0 million in 1987–88 in respect of the national museums and galleries, and £11.2 million and £21.8 million, respectively, for the British library.

From 1 April 1988, such costs have become the responsibility of the individual institutions, with that of the new British library building project at St. Pancras the responsibility of my Department.

The grant in aid provisions for the national museums and galleries building and maintenance programmes are:

Grant in aid
Building programme provision
(Amounts shown in £ millions)
Institutions 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91
British museum 6.497 7.650 9.000
Imperial War museum 6.363 4.097 3.100
National gallery 3.255 4.390 5.100
National Maritime museum 1.853 3.450 4.600
National museums and galleries on Merseyside 2.690 3.060 3.800
National Portrait gallery 2.926 1.530 1.800
Natural History museum 6.172 6.260 8.100
Science museum 4.617 5.310 5.920
Tate gallery 3.236 3.800 4.800

Institutions 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91
Victoria and Albert museum 7.024 7.660 9.900
Wallace collection 0.271 0.482 0.627
Totals 44.904 47.689 56.747

Expenditure on the British library building project at St. Pancras is:

£ million
1988–89 1989–90 1990–91
23.3 41.4 49.2

Mr. Fisher

To ask the Minister for the Arts what information he has on the level of repairs and maintenance needs in(a) theatres, (b) museums and (c) libraries.

Mr. Renton

I am setting in hand a new initiative to review and assess rigorously the building renovation needs of the national museums and galleries which I sponsor. This review, which will be undertaken by professional multidiscipline building consultants, will entail a detailed study of a variety of building conditions and other technical surveys. These will be compared against requirements already identified in museums buildings and the need for further technical studies identified if required. The review should be completed by summer 1991. The results will inform my decisions in carrying forward the Government's policy of bringing about the renovation of these important and historic buildings by the end of the decade; I am at present providing £189 million over the next three years towards these building and maintenance needs.

I understand that the Theatres Trust is carrying out a small study to establish whether a systematic examination of the national state of theatres could be undertaken at reasonable cost. It is for other relevant funding bodies, including local authorities, to determine the needs for the buildings within their areas of responsibility.

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