Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Session 2004-05

20 December 2004

Arts development: theatre

The Committee has agreed to inquire into the nature and adequacy of public support for theatre in Britain in the new year.

Written submissions are invited from any interested organisation or individual by Friday 14 January.

The issues that the Committee has initially identified as relevant are:

- The current and likely future pattern of public subsidy for the theatre including both revenue support and capital expenditure.

- The performance of the Arts Council in developing strategies and priorities and disbursing funds accordingly.

- Support for the maintenance and development of: theatre buildings; new writing; new performing talent.

- The significance of the theatre as a genre (a) within the cultural life of the UK; (b) in the regions specifically, and (c) within the UK economy, directly and indirectly;

- The effectiveness of public subsidy for theatre and the relationship between the subsidised sector and the commercial sector-especially London’s West end.

- Progress with significant (re)development projects as may be brought to the Committee’s attention.

The most recent related relevant work by the Committee was an inquiry into Arts Development (proposals to redevelop the RSC and the South Bank Centre; and the reform of the Arts Council) conducted in 2002 (see Third Report of Session 2001-02, HC 489). In coming to its conclusions, the Committee will also take into account evidence gathered on music theatre last year.