HC Deb 13 March 1997 vol 292 cc315-6W
14. Dame Angela Rumbold

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on the public sector borrowing requirement of allowing schools to borrow money from the banks to pay for capital spending. [18535]

As a further step the board of trustees of the NGS has put to me revised outline proposals to establish a new national gallery of Scottish art and design in Glasgow. These proposals reflect the advice of the national heritage memorial fund that it could not support a project of the scale described in the NGS's original application for lottery funding towards the capital costs of acquiring and fitting out the former Post Office building in George square. The new proposals which take account of that advice are smaller in scale and more focused on the objective of making available to the public good-quality works of Scottish art which are not currently on permanent display.

The trustees are aware that the capital costs of the revised project would need to be met from non-government sources and I would require half the running costs for at least the first four years to be met from private sources. The provision of the balance from public funds would be a matter for consideration in future public expenditure rounds. The project would also have to meet normal requirements of public sector investment appraisal.

On the basis of these assurances about the funding of the capital and running costs of a Glasgow gallery, I am prepared for further detailed work to go ahead on this proposal, in parallel with the development of the new national loans scheme initiative, with the objective of maximising access to the national collections.

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