Appendix 5 |
Supplementary Memorandum submitted by Rt Hon Lord
McIntosh of Haringey: responses to supplementary questions posed
by the Sub-Committee
1. Very little appears to have changed since
the last Committee report on historic ships other than setting
up the new National Historic Ships Unit. Are there no other steps
the Government can take in this area?
I disagree with the observation that little has changed.
On the contrary, we have a clear policy for Historic Ships and,
for the first time, a properly funded National Historic Ships
Unit, which has wide support, and through which that policy can
be delivered in conjunction with the Heritage Lottery Fund as
the principal funder. This is a significant achievement. In addition
we have provided extra funding to the National Maritime Museum
to help support the team delivering the Sea Britain 2005 project,
a major promotion of the Maritime Heritage in 2005 with excellent
support from Visit Britain, which I welcome. Thanks to the work
of the National Historic Ships Committee the National Register
of Historic Vessels is now up to date providing a valuable source
of information with the new Unit will take forward and maintain.
2. It has been stated that the Government
is committed to delivering a national policy on ship preservation
and that historic ships have a role to play in delivering government
objectives especially in the areas of tourism and regeneration.
Yet there will be no government funding other than a small amount
to establish the new Ships Unit. The sector has indicated to
us that it cannot survive without further funding. Where should
they turn to for funding?
The Government's direct funding contribution to historic
ships is in relation to the historic ship collections of the museums
that it sponsors. This contribution is not small. The National
Maritime Museum (NMM), for example, has over 150 vessels in its
collection and over the last 10 years DCMS has provided NMM with
grant-in-aid in excess of £130 million. Other historic vessels
can be found in the collections of the Imperial War Museum, National
Museums Liverpool and Tyne and Wear Museums, which also receive
grant-in-aid from DCMS. The Government's policy is that funding
for other historic vessels is a matter for the Heritage Lottery
Fund. The Government will, however, fund both the establishment
and running of the National Historic Ships Unit and the associated
small grants scheme.
3. Is there a case for direct government support
for at least some ships in the Core Collection?
Where ships in the core collection are part of a
Government-sponsored museum collection they may receive grant-in-aid
support. Where they are not they will look to other sources of
public funding, where available, the Heritage Lottery Fund and
4. (a) What difference will the new Unit make
in saving more ships when it will not be able to fund programmes?
(b) What can it do more effectively than the existing NHSC?
(a) The Unit will advise owners and trusts on sources
of funding and advise the Heritage Lottery Fund on what ships
should be funded and how preservation can be conducted most cost-effectively
(b) The Unit will be able to provide professional
advice on ship preservation on a full time basis, provide professional
advice to the Heritage Lottery Fund and it will be able to represent
the sector to Ministers. In addition it will have the means, through
the small grants scheme to fund research to underpin preservation
efforts or to find alternative ways of recording historic vessels.
5. Looking ahead five years, how do you see
the establishment of the new Ships Unit changing the face of preserving
our maritime heritage?
The Historic Ships unit will achieve a more coherent,
less fragmented and more cost effective approach to the preservation
and recording of historic ships, a greater public awareness of
the maritime heritage and of the alternative ways of recording
and preserving it.
6. In the submissions we have received, people
have complained that to date the large museums have had too much
control. Do you intend to ensure that there is adequate representation
from all sectors including the smaller private owners of historic
I do not accept the premise that the large museums
have had too much control. Indeed I am grateful for the positive
help and advice that we have received from them. But, I do recognise
the desirability of the Unit being overseen by an independent
body and this is why I have proposed that from 2006/07 there should
be an Independent Advisory Board whose Chair and Members would
be appointed by the Secretary of State. During 2005 we shall
be consulting on the composition of the Board and the appropriate
7. Do/should regional development agencies
have a role to play in preserving maritime heritage?
I am aware that the South East England Development
Agency has contributed considerable funding support to the regeneration
of the Chatham Historic Dockyard and I am also aware that the
South West Regional Development Agency has contributed funding
to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall at Falmouth. If there
is further scope for regional development agencies to play such
a role in the preservation of the maritime heritage I would hope
that they were in a position to do so. That is, however, a matter
of judgement for them but I am sure that the Historic Ships Unit
will be well placed to facilitate liaison and constructive engagement
with the RDAs.
8. Can the DTI export licensing regime alert
applicants to the need for a separate DCMS export licence? Are
the DCMS and DTI export licensing regimes sufficiently "joined
DCMS and DTI are currently in discussion about what
measures, additional to those currently in place, can be taken
to ensure that applicants for export licences are aware of the
licensing requirements of both departments.
9. The Minister mentioned in evidence that
he would talk to Treasury Ministers about the case of Cutty Sark
and the fact that the Trust now had to pay VAT following recent
changes in the law. Please could you let us know of the outcome
of those discussions as soon as possible?
Officials have written to HM Customs and Excise and
I will let you know the outcome as soon as possible.
10. How can tourist boards play a more active
role in encouraging people to visit our historic vessels?
I welcome the Sea Britain 2005 Project and the excellent
support that this project is receiving from Visit Britain. Although
the tourist boards no longer give grants the Regional Development
Agencies are responsible for the regional development of tourism
strategy and make substantial financial contributions in support
of domestic tourism.
21 February 2005