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Maritime Museum, Portsmouth

Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what additions there have been to the Maritime Museum at Portsmouth in the last 10 years; whether any further exhibits have been or are being acquired; and what has been the cost in capital and revenue terms.

I assume that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the Portsmouth Royal Naval Museum, which was set up as a charitable trust in 1972 and incorporated certain existing museum collections. In accordance with a Treasury minute dated 11 April 1978, a copy of which was laid before the House, the museum acquired the ground floors of three historic storehouses in Portsmouth dockyard to allow room for growth. The board of trustees finances the purchase of new acquisitions from the funds at its disposal, including a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Defence first introduced in 1978 and amounting to £5,000 a year at present. In addition, a number of exhibits have been very generously donated in recent years.