Regional Theatre (CSR)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th November 2010.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 2:30 pm, 29th November 2010

What assessment he has made of the effects on financial support for theatres in regions outside the south-east of the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) (jointly with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

Funding decisions from central Government are the responsibility of the Arts Council. I am delighted to say, however, that as part of the spending review the Arts Council has limited cuts to the budget for arts organisations to just 15%. We have also reformed the lottery money and that will boost the arts by £50 million each year from 2012.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

For nearly 40 years, the Hull Truck theatre has been a huge success for the city of Hull. The theatre now employs 93 staff and is located in its new £15 million building at Ferensway. Following the £100,000 cut made by Hull city council last week and the £40,000 reduction made by the Arts Council, will the Minister look at this again, taking into account the fact that it is much easier to find private sector investment and jobs on the south bank of the Thames than on the north bank of the Humber? Will he particularly examine the regional funding for theatre in the most disadvantaged communities, such as my own?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) (jointly with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

I absolutely hear what the hon. Lady has to say, and I pay tribute to that theatre and its reliance on a mix of different elements of arts funding. I would remind her that theatres in Yorkshire received almost £7 million in grant in aid via the Arts Council this year and will continue to be funded by the Arts Council in future.