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10 Mar 2008 : Column 144W—continued


The Department's Lottery Grants Database is searchable at:

and uses information supplied by the lottery distributor.

Own Art Scheme

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Own Art scheme; how many outlets were participating in the scheme on the latest date for which figures are available; how many individuals have taken part in the scheme since its inception; and how much funding his Department provided for the scheme in each of the last three years. [191373]

Margaret Hodge: Own Art is an Arts Council initiative. Through ArtCo Trading Ltd, the Own Art scheme has received £500,000 in 2005-06, £378,000 in 2006-07, and £366,000 in 2007-08, in grant funding. There are currently 230 Own Art member galleries in England. Since the launch in April 2004 to end January 2008, a total of 9,882 customers successfully applied for an Own Art loan.

The last full evaluation of the scheme was published in May 2007 and reported on the 18 month period 1 October 2005 to 31 March 2007. 28 per cent. of the customer base described themselves as ‘first time buyers’. 30 per cent. of Own Art customers were on income levels below the national average and 82 per cent. of customers said that the scheme had enabled them to make their purchase.

A further evaluation report on the impact of the Own Art scheme on artists is due to be published at the end of March.

Playgrounds: Finance

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what contribution (a) his Department and (b) the National Lottery made to the schools playgrounds scheme in each of the last five years; and what contributions he expects to be made in each of the next three years. [191876]


10 Mar 2008 : Column 145W

Mr. Sutcliffe: In April 2005 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, announced a £2 million investment to extend the Sporting Playgrounds programme which is also funded through the DCSF. This scheme refurbishes existing primary school playgrounds to enhance opportunities for sporting activity. Over 600 primary school playgrounds have been developed since the programme began in 2001.

There are no plans for a Sporting Playgrounds programme over the next three years.

The following table shows the total value of grants on the Department's Lottery Grants Database during the last five completed financial years, where the name of the project title or description is recorded as either “school playgrounds”, “schools playgrounds” or “school playground”. Lottery distributing bodies make grant decisions independently of the Government.

Financial year Total grant value (£)

2002-03

131,136

2003-04

492,337

2004-05

13,000

2005-06

96,654

2006-07

204,012


The Department's Lottery Grants Database is searchable at:


10 Mar 2008 : Column 146W

and uses information supplied by the Lottery distributor.

Public Libraries: Closures

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what information his Department holds on the number of municipal public libraries which have closed since 1997-98. [191663]

Margaret Hodge: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Brent, East (Sarah Teather) on 24 January 2008, Official Report, column 2174W.

Regional Cultural Consortiums: Finance

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding his Department provided to each of the regional cultural consortiums in each of the last five years. [191363]

Margaret Hodge: My Department has provided the following funding to each of the regional cultural consortiums in each of the last five years.

Regional cultural consortiums outturn
£000
Outturn Plans
Regional cultural consortium 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08( 1)

Living East

180

209

233

215

226

Culture South East

205

209

224

215

226

Culture North East

197

210

221

215

219

Culture North West

208

209

223

215

226

Yorkshire Culture

208

209

221

215

226

Culture East Midlands

141

210

236

215

265

Invest to save, creating cultural opportunity in sustainable communities

203

285

Culture South West

206

209

222

215

226

Culture West Midlands

223

209

261

215

221

(1) Following winter supplementary estimate.

Sport

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to ensure that members of the public are involved in developing strategies to encourage sport and physical recreation in their communities; and if he will make a statement. [192707]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Sport England has been asked by the Secretary of State to develop a new strategy and business plan for the delivery of community sport in England. During January 2008, Sport England invited existing stakeholders to submit views to the organisation on its future direction and strategy. Once the headline strategy has been agreed by the Secretary of State, Sport England intends to conduct further consultation. This will include another round with stakeholders and an open consultation—for the standard three month period—on the proposed resulting changes to lottery grant application criteria. The consultation process will offer any member of the public or group the opportunity to comment on and influence the proposed changes.


10 Mar 2008 : Column 147W

Sportsgrounds

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if he will take steps to ensure that the owners of sports grounds that have not been used for regular sporting activities for a period of more than two years are required to bring them back into use; and if he will make a statement; [192704]

(2) if he will impose a charge on the owners of sports grounds that are not used for regular sporting activity for a period of more than two years; and if he will make a statement. [192705]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There is no power to either require owners of sports grounds to bring back into use grounds not used for regular sporting activities for a period of more than two years or to charge such owners if they are not so used. However, Sport England must be consulted if land has been used as a playing field in the
10 Mar 2008 : Column 148W
five years before the making of a planning application. Planning guidance to local authorities is clear: no playing field needed by the community should be removed. In addition, Sport England object to all applications that would result in a loss of playing fields, unless there is a clear benefit to sport.

Swimming Pools

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer to the my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) of 27 February 2008, Official Report, column 1617-18W, on swimming pools, how many of the pools in each category in the table are or were in the (a) public and (b) private sector; and how many swimming pools there are in England. [192802]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Active Places database shows that there are currently 4,614 swimming pools in England.

Pools opened since 2004 by ownership type
Total Local authority Commercial Education Other

2004

117

17

73

25

2

2005

93

18

57

16

2

2006

87

20

55

11

1

2007

57

19

22

14

2

Total

354

74

207

66

7


Pools closed since 2004 by ownership type
Total Local authority Commercial Education Others

2004

13

5

4

4

0

2005

60

32

15

11

2

2006

58

23

12

21

2

2007

33

9

12

12

0

Total

164

69

43

48

4


Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) internationally recognised definition and (b) definition used by Sport England is of (i) swimming pool and (i) diving pool. [192804]

Mr. Sutcliffe: For the purposes of collecting information for the Active Places database, Sport England's definitions are as follows:

A swimming pool is an enclosed area of water, indoor or outdoor, specifically maintained for all forms of water based sport and recreation, for example, general swimming, teaching, training, diving, club and school use.

Sport England defines a diving pool as being a separate pool specifically for diving which is usually square and deeper than the main pool.

We understand from the Amateur Swimming Association, the national governing body for swimming and diving, that there are no internationally recognised definitions for the terms swimming pool or diving pool.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many swimming pools listed on the Active Places website are co-located with one or more other pools on the list. [192805]

Mr. Sutcliffe: In November 2007, there were 4,614 swimming pools on 3,461 sites listed on the Active Places database. 921 of the sites have more than one swimming pool.


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