British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:10 pm on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden 12:10 pm, 13th March 2020

I agree with my hon. Friend. It is worth saying that in 2013 many DCMS-sponsored museums—such as Kew Gardens, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the Ministry of Defence museums—were given 12 operational freedoms to help them become more financially independent and access finance for new projects, through commercial revenues, philanthropic donations and the like. Of the 12 freedoms, the British Library has 11. It is just that the 12th was prohibited by the 1972 Act, which this Bill seeks to change. My hon. Friend is indeed right that this Bill will bring the British Library up to date with other similar museums.