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NCVO have expressed grave disappointment at the announcement by culture, media and sport secretary Chris Smith that...
NCVO have expressed grave disappointment at the announcement by culture, media and sport secretary Chris Smith that the money currently allocated to the Millennium Commission will now

all go to the New Opportunities Fund (NOF). It will not, as NCVO has called for, be divided equally between each of the good causes.

From 2001, NOF will now receive one third of the overall good causes lottery money - double the income of any of the other distributing boards. This important news came without any apparent prior consultation with those who either depend on or distribute lottery money.

NCVO chief executive, Stuart Etherington said: 'That the Millennium Commission money will go to the NOF - and not be divided equally among the five boards - is extremely disappointing. We have been asking for this to be allocated equally across the boards. Yet without

any prior consultation, the lion's share will now go to the NOF.

'More importantly, bolstering NOF with the bulk of the lottery money to fund projects supported by the government, could undermine the principle that lottery money should be in addition to - not instead of - state spending.

'Of course the extra£50m that the charities' board will receive as a

result of revised forecasts of lottery income and the new, collaborative approach to funding which the government is promoting are good news, but the lack of consultation on how the millennium money will be allocated goes against the spirit of collaborative working the recent National Lottery Act was attempting to foster,' continued Stuart Etherington.

'With the fall in individual giving to charity, lottery money is an ever more important source of funds for the voluntary sector. Now we know that NOF is to be the major recipient of Lottery money, we hope that the Fund will be flexible enough to encourage voluntary organisations and charities access to funding. NOF will not be able to meet its objectives to improve peoples' lives and communities unless it works with the sector.'

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