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Museums And Galleries

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 10 December 1987

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To ask the Minister for the Arts if he is satisfied with access for disabled people in wheelchairs to all museums and galleries for which he has responsibility.

I am satisfied that the museums and galleries for which I am responsible are fully aware of the needs of disabled people and are doing all they can to meet those needs. This includes improving access in existing buildings and planning for the needs of the disabled in new buildings.

To ask the Minister for the Arts if he is satisfied that the extension to the National gallery and the Tate gallery of the north in Liverpool will provide adequate access for disabled people.

I am satisfied that the new extension to the National gallery has been designed to provide a full range of facilities, including adequate access, for disabled people, both visitors and staff. Similarly, I am satisfied that the needs of disabled people, including that of adequate access, have been given particular consideration in the planning and refurbishment of the Tate gallery building in Liverpool.

To ask the Minister for the Arts if he is satisfied with the access for disabled people to the new Turner gallery at the Tate; and whether he has received any complaints from disabled people or organisations on this issue.

The needs of disabled people were taken into account when the Tate gallery drew up the design brief for the Turner gallery. The director and trustees of the Tate recognise, however, that further improvements need to be made, particularly within the building. They are taking steps to rectify the situation. I have not received any representations from disabled people or organisations on this matter.