To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will explain in more detail the background to his announcement to increase arts funding for 1988–89.
My announcement of a substantial increase in arts funding for 1988–89 and the two subsequent years represented an important practical step towards the implementation of the long-term plan for the funding of the arts which I outlined in my speech in Newcastle in July. The average increase in allocations of 10 per cent. next year is intended to get this new approach off to a good start and to encourage arts insitutions to become more self-reliant in their development and growth.
To ask the Minister for the Arts when he plans to meet the Arts Council to discuss the level of funding for the arts in 1988–89.
I met the chairman and secretary-general of the Arts Council on several occasions before announcing the level of the council's grant-in-aid for 1988–89 on 5 November. The council will keep me advised of its plans for the distribution of the grant-in-aid.