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Museum Funding

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of differences in the level of funding between the museums formerly funded by the metropolitan county councils and the GLC since 1986; and what account he will be taking of this in his current review of museum funding. [16125]

Funding for most of the former metropolitan museums is a matter for the local authorities in each area. Amongst the 16 museums my Department directly sponsors, there are five that were once funded by the Metropolitan County Councils, and the Greater London Council (the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the Geffrye Museum; the Horniman Museum and the Museum of London). An annual allocation is made to these institutions following an assessment of their needs as expressed in their respective corporate plans. In addition the Museums and Galleries Commission currently awards an annual grant to the Tyne and Wear Museum Service, following their assessment of the relative needs of the various client bodies funded by them.Allocations are made on grounds of affordability and need. Institutions and museum services are very different and are funded on different bases from different sources. Funding levels are therefore not directly comparable.My Department is currently considering all of its public funding commitments as part of its contribution to the Government's comprehensive spending review.