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Thousands spent on Los Angeles bash

Thousands of pounds of taxpayers money was spent on a Los Angeles bash to celebrate British Oscar nominees and business, official figures show.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock told MPs the £85,000 reception for the Great campaign, which aims to showcase what the country has to offer, was attended by about 500 guests - including more than 30 British Oscar nominees.

He added an estimated £37,000 was spent on venue hire, food and drink while security, logistics and event management cost around £48,000.

Mr Hancock said the private sector provided 35% of the funding for the event - which amounts to £29,750 - signalling £55,250 was paid for from public funds.

Clare Risman, head of marketing for UK Trade and Investment USA and the Great campaign in the country, told Variety ahead of the February reception : "We want to celebrate the success of British nominees in awards season, especially in Oscar."

In a written parliamentary question, Labour MP Nick Smith asked Business Secretary Vince Cable: "W hat the (a) total cost and (b) cost per area of expenditure was of the Great campaign launch in Los Angeles in F ebruary 2015; and who the attendees were at that launch."

Mr Hancock replied: " The reception cost £85,000 with 35% funded by the private sector.

"Approximately £37,000 was spent on venue hire, food and drink, £48,000 on event management, logistics and security.

"Approximately 500 guests from the creative sector including major studios and film production companies, sponsors, c-suite representatives of British businesses with a presence in California as well as potential US investors in the UK, elected officials and media figures as well as more than 30 British Oscar nominees."

A UKTI spokesman said: "The Great campaign event at the London Hotel in Los Angeles was held to celebrate the success of UK film and attract further investment into the industry.

"The UK film production sector generated £1.23 billion of inward investment into the UK economy in 2014. This figure was the highest since records began 20 years ago."

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