§ Lord Monkswell
asked the Leader of the House:
What plans the Government have for the Department of National Heritage; and if he will make a statement.
§ Lord Richard
The Government have decided to refocus the Department of National Heritage to play a major part in the regeneration of our country for the future, working with the cultural industries, local government and the private sector to support creativity and also to create wealth and employment. As an expression of this change, the department will be renamed the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and its responsibilities widened to include the music industries, which contribute some £2.5 billion to gross domestic product each year.
My right honourable friend, who will be known as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, will develop a new and dynamic approach to the "creative industries". He will carry through the Government's commitment to a strategic vision for the British arts, media and cultural industries that matches their real power and energy.
The formal steps necessary to change my right honourable friend's title are in hand and are expected to be completed shortly.