Regional Arts Facilities

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Excerpts
Wednesday 27th March 2024

(1 month, 4 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, we have a bit of an impasse. Could we hear from the Conservative Benches and then the Labour Benches?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
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As my noble friend rightly points out, some of the national museums are prevented in statute from deaccessioning items in their collections. Other museums are under the direction of their trustees, and about 18 months ago the Government, working with Arts Council England and the sector, provided some guidance so that the trustees of those collections were able to reflect on the importance considerations as they made those decisions.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall (Lab)
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My Lords, the Minister will know that, for the past 40 years—probably more—the arts sector in this country has been reliant principally on three sources of income: one is what it can earn for itself through trading, another is the public funding that comes from the Arts Council and local authorities, and the third is private giving. He will also know that all three of those funding streams are currently under enormous pressure. Therefore, while accepting and being grateful for the work that the Government have done recently, in view of the widespread challenges that all arts organisations are currently facing, does he think that it is enough?

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Portrait Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Con)
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The noble Baroness is right. All three elements that she mentioned are important, and all three are facing challenges at the moment. That is why we were so pleased that the Chancellor agreed to make permanent the tax reliefs in the Budget, because that encourages the sort of risk-taking experiment, such as touring a new production, that can help be a part of the commercial income of our brilliant arts organisations. I am glad that the noble Baroness has agreed to join the advisory panel for Dame Mary Archer’s review of Arts Council England, which can look at this important landscape and, I hope, inform the review and the recommendations that it makes to government.