§ Mr. Chris Smith
[holding answer 10 February 1998]: The Victoria and Albert Museum submitted a revised economic appraisal for its British Galleries project in January. This involves the refurbishment of the fifteen galleries documenting the evolution of art and design in the UK from 1500 to 1900. The appraisal will be scrutinised by my Department and the Treasury before approval can be granted. I understand that an application for funding has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Museum also has plans to build the "Boilerhouse" extension in Exhibition Road, South Kensington as designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind. However, an application to the Millennium Commission has been refused and we understand that the Museum has applied to the Arts Council for funds for a feasibility study. No decision is required from my Department at this stage.