Lottery funding labelled unfair

Pictured is Industrial Communites Alliance chairman Eion Watts.
Pictured is Industrial Communites Alliance chairman Eion Watts.

A LEADING Bolsover councillor has slated the National Lottery after claims it is short-changing industrial communities with unequal handouts.

Chairman of the Industrial Communities Alliance Eion Watts, who is also the Bolsover District Council leader, backed ICA research which says industrial areas in England, Scotland and Wales are missing out on millions of pounds in Lottery funding as others receive a greater share.

He said: “When spending cuts mean local facilities are under threat, this is Lottery money our communities cannot afford to lose.

“There is no benefit from a prestige project in a city miles away.”

The ICA, which represents councils, looked at grants for nineteen industrial areas including Bolsover and compared them to big cities and the UK average.

It claims industrial areas receive less per person than the national average, industrial communities receive around 60per cent of the national average per head and over the same period funding to big cities was two-and-a-half times higher than to industrial areas.

The research claims lost funding to Britain’s industrial communities has been around £3bn since the Lottery began. The ICA is calling for the Government to check distributions.

A National Lottery Good Causes spokesman said: “The National Lottery has changed lives in every community and 28per cent of funding in England has gone to the 10per cent most deprived local authority areas.” It argued ICA ignored population density and that most national and regional charities are registered in cities which can be misleading.