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National Lottery

Volume 268: debated on Wednesday 20 December 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of benefits to Scotland from the national lottery. [5211]

Scotland is doing extremely well from the national lottery. To date, more than 560 awards have been made, totalling around £125 million.

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the sums available for Scotland from the national lottery for the arts, heritage, sports, charities and the millennium fund are far larger than originally predicted, that that is bringing widespread benefits to Scotland, and that the national lottery is a brilliant national achievement?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Some £23 million has gone towards Scotland's Field of Dreams at Hampden. The arts have received £27 million, sports £16 million, charities £7 million, heritage £22 million and the millennium £40 million, which includes a millennium forest that will extend the cover of native woodlands in Scotland. Some 80 per cent. of the awards have been for less than £100,000, so hundreds of small sports clubs, amateur dramatic societies and local museums have benefited to an extent beyond their wildest dreams.

Will the Minister join me in congratulating Austin Reilly of the national stadium committee, Queen's Park football club and the Scottish Football Association on obtaining £21 million from the millennium fund for the continuing redevelopment of Hampden? Will he also find an opportunity to discuss with the Secretary of State for National Heritage the changes to the rules in the operation of the national lottery to ensure that some of the money can be used for revenue spending for the arts rather than entirely for capital spending, thus removing the threat that hangs over Scottish Opera and some of our other great cultural organisations?

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage will have heard the hon. Gentleman's question. I share the hon. Gentleman's great enthusiasm for Hampden's success and for that of many other projects in Scotland, including the Glasgow film theatre, the Scottish gallery of modern art, and the Strathclyde Poverty Alliance, in which he has an interest. In addition, £1.5 million has gone to Tayside regional council for a sports complex.