I thank my hon. Friend—he is absolutely right. The reputation that precedes so many of our theatres up and down the country means that they attract a wider audience than just the local population. With that comes additional spend from people going to restaurants and staying in hotels. Theatres play a huge role in the local economy. That is one of the reasons—not the only one—why they are so important. Investing in the arts provides a strong cultural boost in our regional towns and cities. These theatres are also where the careers of some of our best British actors and actresses begin and where some of the most innovative plays and productions start their lives.
I have secured this debate because I have real concerns about the impact that potential changes in regulations on stage lighting could have for our local theatres and performance venues. The European Union is currently reviewing legislation on eco-design, which includes lighting. The new regulations, which have been proposed for September 2020, will require a minimum efficiency of 85 lumens per watt and a maximum standby power of 0.5 watts on all light sources, lamps or self-contained fixtures sold within the European Union. As part of the review, an existing exemption was removed. Without this exemption, the majority of tungsten, arc and LED stage lighting fixtures would no longer be available on the market, and venues could be forced to go dark.