The lucky ones win
How is lottery money shared? By giving most to those institutions favoured by the wealthy, a new study shows.
Wednesday 09 April 1997
Where John Major promised the lottery would provide "benefits for all", in practice the Heritage Lottery Fund has mostly benefited the rich, the book's authors, Luke FitzHerbert and Lucy Rhoades, say. By dispensing half its money to museums and galleries the fund shows it takes a narrow view of what constitutes heritage, turning its back on the activities and interests of the majority.
"It's a rotten system," Luke FitzHerbert argues. "The grants go to where they are least needed. The places that need it most are disqualified from getting it.
"The fund has failed to recognise that our 'national treasures', mainly in museums and galleries, are only a modest part of our national heritage. The fund has failed to bring support for the heritage to the country as a whole, but has spent its money mainly in the capital cities or in the already best protected rural areas."
While many impoverished districts have not received a penny from the fund, the South-east, and London in particular, has received generous grants. Where the North-east has been allocated pounds 1.85 per person, the figure for the South-west is pounds 8.32, and for London it is pounds 19.44. The richest areas of the country on average get half as much again from the fund as the poorest areas, according to the book's figures.
The Directory of Social Change, a respected charity support agency, says the key problem is how the nation's heritage is defined. It believes the Heritage Lottery Fund should accept a responsibility to improve the whole country's heritage by funding environmental improvements and helping the most deprived areas achieve a better quality of living.
"It is extremely unfair just to distribute money to areas that are already best in heritage terms," Mr FitzHerbert says. "For one-fifth of lottery money to go like this is deeply offensive. If it will not do so itself, the incoming government should require the fund to reverse its whole approach - to set most of its money aside, on a fair basis, for local allocation in close consultation with those who live in the area concerned, and to reserve just an adequate portion for the support of centralised national institutions and for the interests of specialist enthusiasts.
"For most people, their heritage is their local church and its grounds, the nearby countryside and its farm buildings, a fine old pub, their town centre, a well-built school, their Victorian public buildings, or just a few green corners preserved when their locality was built over. These parts of our heritage are under a far greater threat than the contents of our national galleries or museums."
Research by DSC indicates that few applicants to the Lottery Board are asked how they will improve access for poorer people. Instead they are required to produce a business plan showing that their future is secure. That creates pressure, DSC argues, to introduce admission charges, reducing access for the poor.
The criticisms are rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund's director, Anthea Case. "Following the directive to all lottery distributors, we only request business plans for projects over pounds 500,000," she says.
"This is to safeguard our responsibility to the public, by ensuring that lottery monies are funding financially viable projects. We would be extremely concerned if lottery grants resulted in new or increased admission charges.
"The fund has made 783 grants totalling pounds 555,946,653, in a direct response to applications which reflect the diverse interests and concerns of people throughout the UK. Projects range from nature conservation, the restoration of canals, historic buildings and railway engines to the improvement of museums and galleries, cathedrals and churches. We will shortly be announcing the first round of grants made to urban parks, a programme which will benefit a wide cross section of the population."
Ms Case also rejected complaints that too much money has gone to London. "It is inevitable that substantial grants will be made to the 'home' of national institutions, which by their very nature attract a huge audience from both home and abroad. Apart from these 'nationals', London has received just 7 per cent of our grants."
Publication of the book was designed to coincide with the Charities Fair, rather than the general election, but DSC will be happy if the way the lottery money is used becomes an election issue. Even a system of voluntary taxation is a matter of public policyn
'The 1997 National Lottery Year Book', by Luke FitzHerbert and Lucy Rhoades, is published by the Directory of Social Change at pounds 19.45.
30 August 2014 12:00 AM
The UK has slipped to 11th in the latest European league table of savers. Rob Griffin checks out the best options
22 August 2014 10:30 PM
Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, says a Labour government would create a new energy regulator
22 August 2014 10:30 PM
16 August 2014 12:00 AM
16 August 2014 12:00 AM
08 August 2014 11:30 PM
08 August 2014 11:30 PM
01 August 2014 07:30 PM
The new product marks a shift towards 'clear, straightforward and standardised' banking products, says Simon Read
01 August 2014 07:30 PM
Five Questions: Changes to car tax discs
Bargain Hunter: There's one day left to book a bargain flight with Air Asia
Two million first-time buyers are locked out
How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away
Mark Dampier: When even safety first is a risk, go for income and capital growth
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony