Scotland row over Lottery funding

Ministers in Holyrood claim pleas to London ignored

Scottish ministers have attacked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in London over its failure to respond to concerns about Lottery funding north of the border.

Scottish culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and sports minister Aileen Campbell have written to Westminster’s Karen Bradley asking for help in making up a huge shortfall in National Lottery funding worth millions.

They claim that Scotland has already lost 14 per cent of its Lottery funding bteween 2015/16 and 2016/17. And so far this year, there’s been another four per cent cut. Lottery income makes up nearly 40 per cent of Creative Scotland’s and SportScotland’s total income.

The cuts follow a drop in sales of lottery tickets of £670m in 2016 and the subsequent decrease in cash available to good causes from £1.8 billion to £1.6 billion.

But the Scottish ministers say the fall in funding is also, in part, because of the UK government’s decision to de-regulate the charity lottery market. They want ministers to make up for at leat some of the shortfall. But they claim that letters to DCMS minister sent in March have so far gone unanswered.

Campbell said: “I am deeply concerned at the UK Government’s lack of action to address this important issue. This huge fall in income puts the delivery of sport and cultural projects at risk, threatens jobs and could roll back some of the recent improvements we have seen in the physical activity levels of the people of Scotland.

A Creative Scotland spokeswoman said they had also lobbied ministers.

We have also made formal representation to the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through our interim Chair Ben Thomson, in the context of the UK budget is soon to be announced.

This sets out his concerns regarding declining revenue from the UK National Lottery and the consequent reduction in income available to our organisation and, as a direct result, to the people and organisations we support across the arts and creative sectors in Scotland.

‘‘He has also highlighted the fact that reduced income relating to Big Lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund are also having significant consequences for culture in Scotland.”

 

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