To ask the Minister for the Arts what measures he intends to take to promote amateur theatre in the regions.
Amateur theatre is traditionally self-reliant. In the past 25 years or so there has been a sustained growth in amateur theatre, which has been encouraged by the regional arts association network and local authorities.
Will my right hon. Friend have a word with North West Arts to find out whether it can get together with Warrington borough council to find a new home for the Centenary theatre group in Warrington which has been displaced out of Crosfields?
I am sorry to hear of that difficulty. Amateur theatre and the arts generally play a vital role in arts provision in all areas, including places with limited access to professional work. I have already taken up with the Arts Council the question of that little company and I am glad to say that the Arts Board: North West will be writing to my hon. Friend today to tell him what steps it proposes to take.