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North West Arts

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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87.

To ask the Minister for the Arts when he last met a representative of North West Arts; and what matters were discussed.

I met the chairman of North West Arts in his other capacity as chairman of the Council of Regional Arts Associations on 25 July this year when various matters were discussed.

Among the matters that were discussed, did the Minister talk about the allocation for the education budget that North West Arts would be allowing this time? It appears that money for education connected with the arts is being cut, and North West Arts is concerned about that. It means that children in school will not receive what they have been receiving in the past.

It is for North West Arts to decide how much work it does in that area. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science and I are carrying out a joint study on best practice in terms of the relationship between schools and artistic activities through theatres, museums, galleries, and so on. My right hon. Friend and I attach great importance to that and hope that it will lead to enhanced arts activity in the schools.

Does my right hon. Friend believe that North West Arts has sufficient funds to fund the "In your own words" project, about which I have written to him and which has achieved a great deal of international recognition?

It must be for North West Arts to give a direct answer to my hon. Friend. However, I have no doubt of the importance of this and I look forward to meeting him to discuss the matter.