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Theatres

Volume 892: debated on Friday 16 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what channels of advice are open to him concerning the provision of theatres and theatre buildings; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I are satisfied with the existing channels of advice through the Arts Council and the Theatres Advisory Council.The Arts Council is about to undertake a national survey of all arts buildings, including theatres, in order to identify significant gaps in their provision. It has the capacity to contribute through the Housing the Arts Fund, for which I have already announced the presentation of an Estimate to Parliament for 1975–76 for £1·15 million.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and I have also been considering carefully, in consultation with the Arts Council and the Theatres Advisory Council, the future of the Advisory Committee on Theatres which was established by the previous Government. We have decided that it should be wound up. The chairman and members have been informed. The committee was set up in January 1974, but it has met only once, and my right hon. Friend and I are satisfied that the rôle envisaged for it is best fulfilled by the Arts Council and the Theatres Advisory Council.