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Football Facilities

28. Mr. Caplin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to increase investment in grass roots football facilities. [135363]

Mr. Chris Smith: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister launched the Football Foundation on 25 July. The foundation is a partnership between Sport England, the Football Association and the FA Premier League, all of which are contributing to its income.

75 per cent. of the foundation's income will be used to fund the development of grass roots football in England, including the provision of high quality facilities. The foundation is expected to distribute grass roots funding of £18 million in its first year of operation.

Picketts Lane Athletics Stadium

29. Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects the contract for the new Picketts Lane athletics stadium to be signed. [135364]

Mr. Chris Smith: The Lee Valley Stadium project is still at the pre-design feasibility stage. Contracts for the construction of the new stadium can only be concluded once the design stage has been completed.

Theatre Funding

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to ensure that there are sufficient resources available for the development of smaller theatres and theatre groups.[135348]

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Mr. Alan Howarth: The Arts Council's current review of regional theatre in its wildest and most inclusive sense, which it is undertaking in collaboration with the Regional Arts Boards and other interested parties, will be addressing these concerns when deciding how to allocate the additional funding it received from the recent spending review.

Seaside Resorts (North Yorkshire)

Mr. Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to support North Yorkshire's seaside resorts. [135351]

Janet Anderson: During my seaside 2000 tour I visited both Scarborough and Whitby and also launched the Yorkshire Coastal Tourism Initiative. I also announced a 4-point plan for England's seaside resorts, including measures to improve their low levels of lottery funding and to support bids for European regeneration money. Local authorities and regional bodies can play a major role in making progress in those areas and DCMS will continue to support them and achieve good results for resorts, including those in Yorkshire, such as we did in the new objective 2 and assisted area maps and in the latest SRB round.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the opportunities for pupils in maintained schools to learn to play tennis. [134370]

Kate Hoey: Government policy is to encourage participation in a wide range of sports in schools. As part of the Government's Sports Strategy the first phase of the School Sports Coordinators programme has recently been established and will provide further opportunities for children in primary and secondary schools in deprived areas to participate in a range of sports, including tennis. In addition, the Lawn Tennis Association has a number of initiatives geared towards promoting tennis in schools, including the Starter Tennis Scheme, the Club-School Link Programme, and the Tennis Awards scheme.

UK Sports Institute

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the intended opening date of the UK Sports Institute. [134642]

Kate Hoey: Recruitment of the key staff of the UKSI Central Services team has been completed. From November 2000, sports will have access to the technical, operational and programme support provided through the UKSI Central Services Team.

The UKSI is also made up of a network of institutes operated by the home country sports councils. The establishment of the English Institute of Sport of the UKSI is on-going. The Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, the Aquatics Centre and Velodrome in Manchester and the Ice-Centre in Nottingham are already available to athletes. In May/June 2000, the water-based hockey pitches in Birmingham and Cannock were among the first completed new projects. Over £50 million of new lottery funding has been committed by Sport England to date for additional facilities for the English network. It is

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expected that the majority of the remaining lottery applications, representing over £60 million of further investment in network facilities in England, will be made in the next six months. Once the full building programme has been completed, there will be over 80 facilities that go to make up the English Institute of Sport network.

In addition, the UKSI Scottish Institute of Sport, funded by sportscotland, has been established and operating for 18 months and The Sports Council for Wales has been operating and developing UKSI Cymru for sometime. Both have been providing a range of services direct to athletes including technical training and support, conditioning guidance and supervision, preventive and reactive sports medical support and sports science. The Sports Council for Northern Ireland has identified the University of Ulster as their preferred partner to develop in partnership the UKSI network centre for Northern Ireland. Initial principles of agreement have been signed by both parties and work is under way to identify the most appropriate format to operate the network centre.

I am arranging for copies of the UKSI Quarterly Update report for August 2000--produced by UK Sport--to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses to provide further information on progress of the UK Sports Institute.


Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of arts lottery funding has been awarded to projects primarily concerned with photography as an art form. [134519]

Mr. Alan Howarth: The number of arts lottery awards made to projects primarily concerned with photography is, according to figures supplied by the Arts Council, 24, totalling some £4,306,000. This represents 0.27 per cent. of the total awards and 0.32 per cent. of the total value of awards made by the Arts Council. Many more Arts Council awards will have gone to projects which also support photography through exhibitions and touring but which are not specifically for photography.

Historic Building Grants

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many historic building grants were awarded in the last five years; and what was the average cost of these grants. [135207]

Mr. Alan Howarth: Grants for historic buildings and monuments are provided by English Heritage (EH) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The information requested is provided for both of these organisations. It should be noted that the HLF's remit covers the whole of the UK, where as EH covers England only.

Since financial year 1995-96 EH have offered the following numbers of grants:

Historic Buildings and Monuments Grants:
Total Offered: £50,974,000
Number of Cases: 1,025
Average Grant: £49,731 This includes secular buildings and monuments.

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Church Grants:
Total Offered: £45,717,000
Number of Cases: 1,317
Average Grant: £34,713 This includes churches and other places of worship.
Cathedral Grants:
Total Offered: £15,000,000

The actual number of cases of grants offered to cathedrals are not held centrally by English Heritage therefore we are unable to give an average grant figure.

Since 1995 the HLF have awarded the following number of grants:

Historic Building and Sites:
Total Awarded: £436,382,000
Number of cases: 1,658
Average Grant: £263,000 This includes secular buildings, places of worship and monuments.

Wembley National Stadium Ltd.

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) when Wembley National Stadium Ltd. will repay £20 million of National Lottery funds to Sport England; [135712]

Kate Hoey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 327W to the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Ainsworth).

BBC Digital Services

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make it his policy to allow BBC licence payers a discount if they are unable to receive BBC digital services; and if he will make a statement. [135907]

Janet Anderson: No. In February this year, in announcing its proposals for the future funding of the BBC, the Government made clear that they had opted for a unified television licence fee covering all the BBC's services, rather than differential fees for analogue and digital viewers. The Government estimate that the switch over to digital television will take place this decade, so the time has come to recognise that digital will soon be the norm.

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