asked the Secretary of State for Trade why he has decided to cut by half the subvention from the Eady levy to the Children's Film Foundation; what consultations he had before making this decision, and with whom; what representations he has had against this decision; and if he will make a statement.
One of the original reasons for making a grant to the Children's Film Foundation from the British film levy (the Eady levy) was to encourage a new generation of cinema-goers. Declining attendances at Saturday morning matinees suggest that a substantial grant from the Eady levy can no longer be justified on these grounds. The foundation has stressed its valuable work overseas and I have therefore suggested that it seeks other sources of finance more appropriate than a levy intended to support the British film industry.In reaching my decision I consulted—as I am obliged to do—the Cinematograph Films Council; and that council in turn received a deputation from the foundation before recommending to me a reduction in the grant from £575,000 last year to £330,000 this year. I have subsequently received a very small number of letters disagreeing with this decision.