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Arts Council

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 14 February 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will publish in the Official Reportthe dates on which the Arts Council grant has been announced in each of the last four years; and why it is not possible to give more substantial notice.

Arts Council grants-in-aid for the succeeding financial year were publicly announced on 17 March 1976, 22 March 1977, 14 February 1978 and 14 February 1979. The council is given by long-established custom considerably longer notice of the planned level of arts subsidies in the Government's White Papers on public expenditure for future years which set out expenditure plans at constant prices. The actual cash grant-in-aid is, however, revalued to current prices, so that the precise figure submitted to Parliament in the Estimates is dependent on the allowance to be made for inflation; this is not determined until shortly before the beginning of the relevant financial year.

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what has been the Arts Council grant to provincial theatre in each of the last three years; how many theatres shared this money; and if he will express the grant given to the National Theatre as a percentage (a) of the total Arts Council grant and (b) of the Arts Council grant to other theatres.

Detailed information, from which it will be possible to answer the hon. Member's questions, is available in the Arts Council, but it has not proved possible to assemble it in a satisfactory form in the time allowed. I have therefore asked the Arts Council to write direct to the hon. Member as soon as possible.