asked Her Majesty's Government:
What information they have received from English Heritage on the additional costs likely to be incurred in connection with the conservation project to stabilise Silbury Hill following the collapse of material into the Mereweather and Atkinson tunnels; and whether they will make additional funding available to English Heritage to cover this expenditure. [HL1617]
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport was informed of the situation at Silbury Hill, including the increase in project costs resulting from ground conditions due to last summer's heavy rain.
DCMS has no plans to make specific funding for Silbury Hill available to English Heritage over and above its grant in aid of £131.8 million.
The EU has agreed to allocate €162 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund to the UK following the floods of June and July 2007 to help cover the costs of emergency operations undertaken by public bodies during the floods. These operations can include immediate measures taken to protect the cultural heritage.
We are currently working with the European Commission to finalise the implementation agreement for this money, and public authorities will be consulted in due course on the allocation of these funds.