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LOTTERY PARTNERSHIP PLEDGES AT THREE TIMES REQUIRED RATE

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Early evidence shows that promises of partnership funding for national lottery projects are running at some three a...
Early evidence shows that promises of partnership funding for national lottery projects are running at some three and a half times the required minimum, national heritage secretary Virginia Bottomley announced today. This partnership funding is coming from a wide spread of sources. There is solid evidence of community support for lottery good cause projects, making the money go even further.

The first annual report of the National Lottery Distribution of Proceeds shows that this trend is continuing. Promises of partnership funding are turning into firm commitments at a high rate.

The National Lottery is: bringing regeneration and creating employment with schemes like the Lowry Centre in Salford which will create 6,500 new jobs, improving the environment with awards like the £675,000 to the RSPB to create a Fenland feeding habitat in Suffolk, boosting the rural economy with a range of projects like the £4.5m awarded to Durham CC for their Turning the Tide project, and building communities with a host of awards to smaller organisations like local sports clubs and playgroups.

Mrs Bottomley said: 'The introduction of the national lottery has made a difference to the lives of nearly everyone in the country. It is a runaway success. The annual report I am publishing today highlights the work done to distribute the money to good causes and the type of projects being supported.'

The report shows that partnership funding does not have to match the Lottery funding pound for pound. Of the £1.2bn a year or so available to the distributing bodies (other than the Charities Board) for awards, some £500m (about 40p of partnership for each pound of award) would be required to make up the minimum amount required by the distributing bodies. Data in the report shows, for the first time, that partnership promises were running at the rate of £1.40 for each pound of award. These promises are overwhelmingly becoming firm commitments.

Mrs Bottomley continued: 'I am pleased that the report shows that there is no systematic problem with partnership funding for lottery projects. Despite the gloomy predictions of some, the report demonstrates that pledges of partnership support for schemes is running at three and a half times the minimum requirement. This figure is holding up. There are high levels of community support for the lottery and the range of projects it is supporting.

'The national lottery is building a better Britain. The government set up the lottery to improve the quality of life for all.

The lottery is achieving this objective and will continue to do so.'

-- The National Lottery - A First Report on the Distribution of Proceeds, October 1996, is published by the Department of National Heritage and is available from the department's Public Enquiry Unit. Tel 0171-211 6200.

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