To ask the Minister for the Arts what arrangements are being made for the future of the South Bank arts estate.
The Chairmen of the Arts Council and of the South Bank board have asked my consent to the setting up of an independent charitable trust to administer the south bank. With the agreement of the Lord President of the Council I have given my consent, to be effective from 1 April 1988. The charitable trust to be known as the South Bank Centre will assume the powers hitherto exercised by the South Bank board as a committee of the Arts Council. The sole trustee of the South Bank Centre will be a public limited company to be called the South Bank Board Limited, and the Arts Council will grant a lease of the south bank estate to that company, in its capacity as trustee, at a nominal rent.A report on the discharge of the responsibilities of the South Bank Centre, and its accounts, will be laid before Parliament annually, as provided by section 47 of the Local Government Act, 1985. The Accounts will of course continue to be certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General.I have appointed Mr. Ronald Grierson, who is at present chairman of the South Bank board, to be the chairman of the South Bank Centre for three years from 1 April 1988. The other members of the South Bank board have been appointed, with my approval, to be members of the South Bank Board Limited.As I undertook in an answer to a question by the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) on 14 March, at column
432, I shall be placing a copy of the trust deed setting up the South Bank Centre in the Library as soon as it has been executed.