(2) what recent assessment he has made of the Connections through Culture programme; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what financial contributions have been received from other organisations for the Connections through Culture programme;
(4) what financial contributions to the Connections through Culture programme have been received from other organisations;
(5) how much his Department has spent on the Connections through Culture programme in each of the last three years; and how much he expects to spend on it in each of the next two years;
(6) what assessment he has made of the performance against objectives of the first term of the Connections through Culture programme; and if he will make a statement;
(7) what plans he has to extend the Connections through Culture programmes to further countries.
The China: UK Connections through Culture programme is a three-year programme led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the British Council, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government. The programme has cost just under £1 million, spread equally over the last three years.
The programme runs from 2006-09 and aims to build long-lasting cultural connections. It has been hugely successful in promoting and encouraging sustainable cultural partnerships between the UK and China. A second term of Connections through Culture from 2009-12 has been agreed to ensure a lasting and tangible legacy in the run up to the Shanghai Expo and London 2012.
An independent evaluation of the first term of the programme was completed at the end of 2008. It concluded that Connections through Culture is a successful and responsive model of exchange unmatched by any overseas government agency in China and that the implementation of the programme has been exemplary.
Funding contributions in the first three-year cycle of the programme were as follows:
£ DCMS 300,000 FCO 300,000 British Council 300,000 Scottish Government 45,000 Welsh Assembly Government 15,000
Welsh Assembly Government
The budget for 2009-12 has not yet been agreed.
We are currently looking at options to transfer this model to India with which the UK seeks to strengthen cultural ties.