Councils call for review of Lottery funding

3 Mar 14
The distribution of Lottery funds should be reviewed to ensure they benefit local museums and heritage sites, councils said today.

Council funding for arts and culture will have been cut by 40% by the end of the Parliament, according to the Local Government Association. It also noted that Arts Council England was set to have its budget slashed by 17% over the next two years.

In this light of this, the LGA suggested there needed to be a ‘frank and open’ discussion about the future of lottery funding.

‘Since its inception, the National Lottery has given billions of pounds to good causes and our country is a more culturally rich and diverse place because of it,’ said Flick Rea, chair of the LGA’s culture tourism and sport board.

‘However, as funding continues to get cut and councils budgets are getting increasingly tighter, we now need to have a conversation around how money is allocated and ensure that it is ending up where it is needed the most.’

She added that the government’s decision to continually focus its harshest cuts on councils was having an impact on local arts and heritage projects.

‘The additional boost provided by lottery funding is ever more important,’ Rea said.

Responding to the LGA's call, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: 'One of the key principles of Lottery funding is that it should not be used as a substitute for funding from other areas. The government has already changed the way the funding is distributed so that arts, sport and heritage now get more lottery funding than they did before 2010. 

'Over the life of this Parliament, this government is making nearly £3bn of public and National Lottery money available to the Arts Council to invest in the arts.'



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