§ Mr. Renton
The funding of the Liverpool Playhouse is a matter for the Arts Council, and for the Merseyside local authorities and other local interests. However, I met hon. Members from Merseyside on 16 January to discuss the financial position of the company. I am well aware of the affection and loyalty that is felt for this famous theatre, and of the widespread concern for its future. The Arts Council has long shared that concern, and it is continuing to discuss funding arrangements with the Merseyside local authorities with a view to the local authorities aiming nearer to the level of financial contribution made by the Arts Council. I hope that there will be a successful outcome.