HC Deb 05 June 2003 vol 406 c539W
Nick Harvey

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on her Department's policy towards the funding of chamber orchestras. [115517]

Dr. Howells

Through their recently announced spending allocations for 2004–05 to 2005–06 Arts Council England is to support a portfolio of seven chamber orchestras to serve those areas of the country which currently have little or no access to orchestral provision, and to ensure a rich mix of provision in other areas. As a result of these allocations, funding for the chamber orchestra sector will increase from £1.34 million this financial year to £1.97 million in 2005–06 or 47.2 per cent.

Main beneficiaries of this increase include: leading contemporary music ensembles—London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Britten Sinfonia the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment—one of the country's busiest and most versatile period-instrument orchestras mainstream chamber orchestras with an already established regional presence—City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Manchester Camerata.

In addition, the Arts Council invests around £350,000 a year through project funding to support chamber orchestras to tour nationally.