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GIVING THE LOTTERY TO THE PEOPLE

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The national lottery is here to stay but needs a new focus as a ...
The national lottery is here to stay but needs a new focus as a

true people's lottery, culture secretary Chris Smith has said.

Speaking at the Lottery Monitor Conference in London, Mr Smith

said that legislation to be introduced later this year will give the

lottery to the people:

'The lottery should now be more about people and less about buildings. We are already giving a new emphasis to this in the existing good causes. But we also want lottery money to help in other key areas that the people are concerned about - health, education and the environment. I share their concern. That is why I want to see lottery money being used to make a difference, to attack targeted areas of need and produce significant improvement, particularly in areas of disadvantage around the country. The£1bn New Opportunities Fund will provide new opportunities for all.'

The new fund - which will become the sixth good cause to be supported by the national lottery - will give grants to three initiatives:

IT training for teachers and librarians, out-of-school-hours activities including homework clubs, and a core network of healthy living centres.

The fund itself will be a small, strategically-focused body covering the whole of the UK, closely in touch with partner organisations to design and deliver the initiatives to meet the needs in each sector, and different to the existing good causes by not funding a single sector.

It will have a rolling programme of tightly-defined and targeted

initiatives within the three sectors of health, education and the

environment; these to be determined by the government after wide

consultation.

Mr Smith also revealed that hundreds of organisations had responded to the recent consultation on the Lottery White Paper - groups as varied as the British Canoe Union and the Coronary Prevention Group had contributed to the government's thinking.

Mr Smith made it clear that the 'additionality principle'

remained fundamental in the government's thinking:

'As with all lottery funding, the new opportunities fund will

only support initiatives additional to core programmes funded from

taxation. The government has a strong and abiding commitment to the

principle of additionality. That means that lottery funding will not

be used for core areas like NHS beds or school buildings but will

focus on innovative and desirable initiatives beyond.'

Notes

1. The White Paper, The People's Lottery, was published on 21 July

1997 (DCMS News Releases 006 and 007). It is available from TSO

bookshops, price£6.80 (ISBN 0-10-137092-X).

2. The government plan to create a sixth Good Cause. The New

Opportunities Fund will fund spending on specific health, education

and, in due course, environmental initiatives beyond core spending

programmes financed through taxation. Lottery funding will launch

projects which will help give Britain a flying start into the new

Millennium.

The first three initiatives to be funded by the people's lottery will

be:

training and support for the nation's 500,000 teachers and some

10,000 librarians in the effective use of information and

communications technology (ICT), out of school hours activities including homework clubs involving half of all secondary schools and a quarter of all primary schools, and a core network of healthy living centres.

Lottery money will also go towards creating a National Endowment for

Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to foster talent and

creativity and create a lasting legacy for the next century.

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