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Mr. Chris Smith: On 20 November 2000, the Government announced that Legacy plc, the second placed bidder in the competition for the future use of the dome, had been made preferred bidder. The Competition
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Team is currently in negotiation with Legacy plc and, if negotiations go well, the Government hope to be in a position to exchange contracts in February.
Mr. Chris Smith: I have had no recent discussions on the future use of the millennium dome. On 20 November 2000, the Government announced that Legacy plc, the second placed bidder in the competition for the future use of the dome, had been made preferred bidder. The Competition Team is currently in negotiation with Legacy plc and if negotiations go well, the Government hope to be in a position to exchange contracts in February.
Kate Hoey: The Government have been consistent in their desire for athletics to have a new national centre to enable it to build on its Olympic successes and to provide athletics with a long-term legacy for the 21st century. The new Lea Valley National Athletics centre is being developed in Edmonton to host the 2005 World Athletics Championships. Other athletics facilities are currently being developed, in Manchester, as part of the Sports City development for the Commonwealth Games, and to support the United Kingdom Sports Institute Centre on sites around the UK.
Kate Hoey: The creation of the Football Foundation--a partnership between Government and football--will see a significant increase in investment in grass roots football in England. The Foundation has some £18 million to invest in grass roots football in 2000-01 and, although the funding arrangements for subsequent years are still under discussion, it is likely that the moneys available will more than treble from 2001-02 onwards.
20. Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to improve the allocation of national lottery arts funding to areas which have hitherto received little funding. 
Mr. Alan Howarth: The 1998 revision of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 demonstrates this Government's commitment to ensuring that Lottery distributors, including the Arts Council of England, have the power to encourage applications for funding in deprived areas.
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Kate Hoey: The United Kingdom Sports Institute (UKSI) is made up of a network of Institutes operated by the home country sports councils. Excellent progress is being made to establish facilities and services for the UKSI. In addition, Sports now have access to the technical, operational and programme support provided through the UKSI Central Services team.
Mr. Chris Smith: TV Licensing, which administers this concession for the BBC as Licensing Authority, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, estimates of the over-75 population based on the 1991 Census indicate that there were approximately 4,900 people aged 75 or over in the Battersea constituency.
24. Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has received on the use of restrictive clauses by film distribution companies in the sale of cinemas. 
Mr. Chris Smith: My hon. Friend the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting has responded to a letter from my hon. Friend. Although the use of restrictive covenants is a matter for commercial negotiation between purchasers and vendors, we would like to encourage the retention of town centre cinemas.
26. Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on his Department's role in the monitoring of contracts in relation to the south portico of the British Museum. 
Mr. Alan Howarth: The Department was not involved in the monitoring of contracts in relation to the south portico of the British Museum as the contracts were between the museum and its supplier. The Heritage Lottery Fund also appointed monitors to oversee the approved purposes of the project as set out in their contract with the museum. Further details of the British Museum's monitoring of the contracts can be found in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Report on the South Portico, which was commissioned by the British Museum and published on 16 January 2001.
27. Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he last discussed with the Secretary of State for Education and Employment the amount of time allocated to physical education in the school curriculum. 
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Mr. Chris Smith: My hon. Friend the Minister for Sport has regular meetings with colleagues from the Department for Education and Employment, as do I, to discuss our objective for raising the quality and level of participation in PE and Sport in schools. Just recently, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and I announced our intention to offer an entitlement to all children to two hours per week of high-quality school sport and recreation during and after the school day. We will consult with schools, professional associations and other interested parties to identify how best to make this happen.
Mr. Chris Smith: National Lottery distributors are working closely with my Department to help coalfield communities, along with other areas of low take-up, receive more benefit from National Lottery money. We commissioned research into the impact of the Lottery on the coalfields, and I established a Coalfields Action Group in June 2000 to take forward the report's recommendations. These include actively encouraging applications from areas of low take-up, introducing more flexible matching fund requirements, making decision- making more transparent, and better co-ordination with other organisations responsible for regenerating coalfields and other low take-up areas. Our data show that the rate of awards to coalfields areas has increased since Government Lottery reforms came into force in August 1998.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he has taken to protect the interests of (a) smaller clubs and (b) youth development in discussions about the future of the football transfer system. 
Kate Hoey: Any proposals for changes to the transfer system are for the football authorities to make. However, the Government believe that any changes following the European Commission's present review must take full account of the interests of smaller clubs and the need to encourage the development of young players. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have made this clear in all our meetings with the football authorities.
Kate Hoey: We are making a considerable investment in the playing field infrastructure of this country. £750 million from the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) will bring about a step change in opportunities for young people to play sport through new and refurbished school sport facilities, including playing fields. Priority funding will be given to areas of urban and rural deprivation. NOF has recently selected Sport England as an Award Partner to deliver an additional £31 million of Lottery money to
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projects throughout the country for the creation of playing fields and community areas, as part of its Green Spaces Initiative.
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