HC Deb 08 December 1997 vol 302 c470W
Mr. Mackinlay

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what initiatives he proposes to increase access for young people and those on low pay to ballet and opera. [17982]

Mr. Chris Smith

Access is a central theme of my Department's policies for the arts. The public has a right to expect a return for the substantial public funding which the arts receive. The Government are considering proposals for a number of initiatives to enhance access, such as an artscard scheme for young people and open theatre nights. More recently, we have asked Sir Richard Eyre to look at the future of the Royal Opera House companies and English National Opera, to see how the future of all the companies can best be secured, and how the work of each company can become more accessible to all of us—whether through more touring activity, through education work or broadcast opportunities.