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Kate Hoey [holding answer 6 April 2001]: Over the past two years, there has been extensive contact with the seven sports that sought assistance to make the transition from tobacco sponsorship. The taskforce of business and sponsorship has been there to make information available, offer advice to support the development of new marketing strategies, make initial contact with potential sponsors and offer professional advice on how the sports can start to position themselves in a changing marketplace.
The taskforce has now concluded the first phase of its work to identify the needs of the sports and ascertain how best it can assist them. Assistance with the replacement of existing contracts can most effectively be targeted in the 12 to 18 months before they lapse, which is the normal lead-in time for negotiating new sponsorship agreements.
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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if the Advisory Committee on historic wreck sites was consulted about the length of the licence granted to excavate the wreck site of the "Hanover"; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Alan Howarth: In July 1997 the "Hanover" wreck site was the subject of an emergency designation under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. Mr. Colin Martin, who was working on the site at the time, immediately applied for leave for judicial review of the Designation Order. The terms of the licence were agreed as part of the settlement of the action. The Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites was not formally consulted on the terms of the licence but they were kept informed of developments throughout. Decisions on the granting of licences are for the Secretary of State to make, consulting as he sees appropriate. There is no set time limit for licences granted under the Protection of Wrecks Act.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the listed buildings there are in (a) the City of Liverpool and (b) Riverside constituency; and how much funding has been allocated to them to assist conservation in the last three years. 
Mr. Alan Howarth: Statistics are not available for these geographical areas, but there are 3,125 listed buildings on Merseyside. The list can be consulted at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, at Liverpool City Council or at the National Monuments Record Centre in Swindon. Over the last three years, buildings in Liverpool have attracted conservation grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and English Heritage totalling £43.4 million, of which £42.8 million was for buildings in Liverpool Riverside. These figures include a grant of £26.7 million from the HLF for development and refurbishment of the Liverpool Museum and Walker Art Gallery.
Mr. Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions he has had with the Royal Opera House regarding its concessionary ticketing policy; and if he will make a statement; 
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Opera House to ensure that Covent Garden is open to a broader audience and for the public to have the widest possible access to performances.
Senior citizens, students, under 18s and those in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance receive a £1 discount off the ticket price of Backstage Tours.
Standing tickets are available at all performances of ballet and opera in the main auditorium.
Outside companies using the Linbury Studio Theatre or the Clore Studio Upstairs must honour the existing concessionary schemes.
Each season, at least two productions of opera will be relayed into the Covent Garden piazza free of charge.
Mr. Chris Smith: Discussions are under way between the relevant bodies, including the Royal Parks Agency and Historic Royal Palaces. I am hopeful that an announcement about the re-opening of Richmond Park, Bushy Park and the Home Park at Hampton Court will be made in the next few days.
Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will initiate consultations upon the proposals made by the Arts Council of England to wind up the regional arts boards prior to their implementation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Howarth: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was consulted personally by the Chairman and the Chief Executive of the Arts Council prior to the announcement of the proposed changes, and the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions was also informed. The development of the proposals will involve
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Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if (a) she and (b) her Department's officials met representatives of A/F Protein Inc. of Waltham, Massachusetts, USA; 
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if she will list the overseas academic private sector, Governmental and non-Governmental organisations which have been funded partly or wholly by her Department to (a) conduct and (b) co-operate in, transgenic and genetic research into fish; and if she will list the purpose, timescale, costs and titles of that research; 
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the international visits her Department has undertaken in connection with fish genetics programmes. 
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if she will list the members of the Aquaculture Research Programme, indicating their (a) scientific qualifications and (b) commercial interests; 
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the commercial partners involved in her Department's programmes working on GM fish stocks (a) in the UK and (b) internationally. 
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