HL Deb 15 July 1997 vol 581 cc105-6WA
Lord Luke

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which department is responsible for the funding of university museums; and

Whether they intend to continue to support university museums; and

What criteria the Higher Education Funding Council uses in relation to the allocation of awards to university museums.

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone)

Universities themselves are responsible for funding university museums from the block grant they receive from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and decisions about continuing to support these museums are for the parent university. The HEFCE also provides "non-formula funding" in support of a number of university museums and galleries of national importance, on condition that bona fide users from higher education have free access. The HEFCE is funded by a grant from the Department for Education and Employment.

The HEFCE reviewed its non-formula funding of museums in 1993 and 1994 and announced its decisions in March 1995. The criteria for funding were published in HEFCE Circulars 5/93, 46/93 and 9/95, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.

Circular 9/95 also announced the Council's decision that, on the recommendation of its Museums, Galleries and Collections Review Group, the distribution of non-formula funding in respect of university museums would not be reviewed for at least five years.