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National Lottery Funding

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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I am today publishing a document which sets out the changes that the Government propose to make to the distribution of National Lottery Funds.The lottery has been a huge success. Over £14 billion has been raised for good causes since 1994. However, nine years on from when the lottery started there is a need to revitalise the way lottery money is distributed. That is why last year I published a consultation document to consider how lottery distribution can be made more strategic and streamlined, and importantly how it can remain responsive to public need.Ultimately our proposals are driven by the need to reconnect people with the Lottery. To ensure that people are aware of, and can have greater influence over, how their money is spent And to make it much easier for everyone to apply for and to use Lottery money.The document sets out proposals for involving the public more and responding to people's priorities. It also describes in more detail how we will create a new Lottery distributor, merging the Community Fund and New Opportunities Fund. This new distributor will also take on some of the powers of the Millennium Commission, including the ability to fund big transformational projects of national significance. We also propose ways to improve the management of issues and projects which cut across Lottery distributors, including proposals for a new Lottery forum with a formal mandate to take forward more joined up working. We will create a more unified promotional approach to make clear the link between the Lottery game and the money going to good causes, and more streamlining of the application process for grants.

I believe that these changes will enable us to build on the success already achieved and secure the Lottery's position for the future. These changes will require legislation and we will bring forward proposals as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

I have placed copies of the National Lottery funding decision document in the Libraries of both Houses and the text is also available on the DCMS Departmental website at http://www.culture.gov.uk./