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Business Sponsorship

Volume 81: debated on Monday 17 June 1985

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asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts if he will list the most recent examples of major business sponsors of the arts under Her Majesty's Government's pound for pound scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Under the pound for pound scheme which started on 1 April, BSIS awards of £10,000 or more have been made in response to the following major new sponsorships: £25,000 to the London City Ballet, sponsored by Neste Oy,, Finland; £25,000 to the National Association of Youth Theatres, sponsored by Anchor Foods Ltd.; £14,500 to the Arundel Festival, jointly sponsored by Harlequin Holidays, Courpark Ltd. and Blake's Hotel; and £13,000 to the Lincoln Festival, sponsored by Marconi Electronic Devices Ltd.

In the light of those contributions, and in the light also of Mr. Paul Getty junior's contribution of £50 million to the arts, will my hon. Friend confirm that the state should not be seen as the only benefactor of the arts in Britain, or seen as the benefactor of last resort?

Business sponsorship demonstrates the importance of that element in plural funding.

I know that the House will want to pay tribute to Mr. Getty—a new Maecenas come among us—for his extraordinary generous gift. It shows that there are many sources in addition to those of the state. The Getty gift was made with modesty and humour, which I think the British people like when spectacular things are done. It was also done with considerable style, and I am sure that I speak for the whole of the House in welcoming it.

With regard to the very generous gift of £50 million by Paul Getty to the National Gallery, is it now the intention of the Government to match that gift pound for pound? If that is so, where is the money to be placed?

I am afraid that Mr. Getty's gift is so great that it is not eligible under the business sponsorship incentive matching scheme.