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Support for arts, heritage and sport as Lottery to be restored to original shares

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Legislation that could see arts, heritage and sport each receiving an extra £50m a year will be placed before Parliament in September.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt announced today in a keynote speech at The Roundhouse in London.

Under the proposals the share of money going to each of the arts, heritage and sport good causes will increase to 20 per cent with the Big Lottery Fund receiving the remaining 40 per cent. Another change will see the Big Lottery Fund focus its support exclusively on the voluntary and community sectors.

Mr Hunt said: “I want to get the Lottery back to how it was originally conceived.  That’s why I will restore arts and heritage, as well as sport, to their original 20 per cent shares of Lottery funding, ultimately providing an extra £100 million each year for arts and heritage - £50 million each - a figure that will be even higher once the Lottery ceases to fund its share of the Olympics and its cultural festival.

“The lottery was set up to fund grassroots initiatives, not as a pot of money for Ministers to dip into. At times like this it is even more important to the arts, heritage and sports sectors which is why I am wasting no time in making these changes.

“And, because I want to see a rise in the amount going to voluntary and community organisations, I will make sure that funds to that sector are protected with the Big Lottery fund focusing its support exclusively on that sector.”

Mr Hunt was speaking today to an audience of arts leaders and funders, where he set out the Government’s - and his own - commitment to the arts and culture.  He said there were three key principles to underpin future policy:

  • a mixed economy of public and  private support for the arts, with stronger incentives to promote philanthropy;

  • access to high quality arts for as many people as possible, through continued free admission to national museums and galleries and continued education programmes; and

  • a reaffirmation of the arm’s length principle, with no politicisation of funding decisions.

The Culture Secretary also said that he wanted to take positive steps to make private giving - philanthropy - to arts and culture easier through steps to:

  • reform Gift Aid;

  • explore ways to build on the successful Acceptance-in-lieu Scheme to make it possible for donors to give works of art to the nation during their lifetimes; and

  • reward high-performing arts organisations through longer-term funding deals, so reassuring sponsors and donors that their support would complement public investment.

Jeremy Hunt concluded: “I am totally passionate about the arts and culture in this country.  For me culture is not just about the jobs in the creative industries, not just about its economic impact, and not just about the thing that’s enjoyed by the millions who go to the cinema, theatre and concerts every week, or visit our museums and galleries.

“Rather, it’s what defines us as a civilised nation.  It helps us understand the world around us, explain it and sometimes escape from it - and we are all the better for it.”

Read a full transcript of the speech

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Notes to Editors

  1. At the moment sports, arts and heritage receive a 16.66 per cent share each of lottery funding with the Big Lottery Fund receiving the remaining 50 per cent. Mr Hunt proposes to move to a share of 46 per cent for Big Lottery Fund in 2011-12. This reflects the proportion of the Big Lottery Fund’s funding that went to the voluntary and communities sector in the most recent year. The Big Lottery Fund’s share would then move to 40 per cent in 2012-13, when diversion of funds to the Olympics ends. Shares for arts, sport and heritage would rise to 18 per cent in 2011-12 and then 20 per cent in 2012-13.

  2. The change in shares requires an Order in Council approved by both Houses.

  3. Mr Hunt has announced a three-month consultation on the proposals with interested parties.  The consultation document will be published on the DCMS website by the end of this week.

  4. More information on the National Lottery can be found on the DCMS website.

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