The lucky ones win

How is lottery money shared? By giving most to those institutions favoured by the wealthy, a new study shows.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is run by elitists who ignore the poorest communities while providing massive grants to a few projects of minority interest, according to the 1997 National Lottery Year Book, published next week by the Directory of Social Change. It is described as the worst of the five specialist bodies distributing the Government's share of lottery income to good causes.

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.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Finacial products from our partners
Property search

Simon Read: The timeshare battle intensifies with Macdonald Resorts

An action group of disaffected Macdonald owners are now readying for their own legal battle with the company

Debt problems: How you can nip your money problems in the bud and sleep easy at night

Money worries are keeping more than 7 million of us awake at night

Venture Capital Trusts: You will love the tax-free income

To encourage investment in this higher-risk area, the Government offers generous tax relief to those who invest in new issues of VCT shares

Runaway debt: It's the new norm for university students now

StepChange, the debt charity, has revealed that students who called its helpline in 2013 had racked up average debts of £7,818

Michael's crisis could have 'dragged on for a long time', says CPA adviser Ruth Millward, right

More than 300,000 adults are too deeply in debt to apply for bankruptcy

Charities are urging the Government to offer a cheaper alternative for people in financial difficulty

Scottish independence: How will kilt-edged stocks fare?

Scottish companies were caned when the separatists surged in the polls. Is this the future, asks Simon Read, and would they be any better together?

Two million first-time buyers are locked out

The drought in lending to people with low deposits has created legions of frustrated buyers, writes Emma Lunn

Leaving money to charity in your will could help reduce the tax bill for your loved ones

Next week has been designated "remember a charity in your will week", to put the focus squarely on the subject
Money is slipping through our fingers: the UK is falling behind other countries in the amount we put away

How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away

The UK has slipped to 11th in the latest European league table of savers. Rob Griffin checks out the best options

Energy firms found guilty of bad practice could have licences revoked under Labour government

Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, says a Labour government would create a new energy regulator

A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university

Fresh from A-level delight, the moment does not have to be soured by students resigning themselves to thousands of pounds worth of debt in three years' time. Rob Griffin sees how to pass the university challenge

'Dismal' eurozone data sparks concerns

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is under pressure to launch promised stimulus before the EU slides further
Love but not marriage: property is one area where cohabiting couples are in danger of losing out

How couples can protect their financial interests when cohabiting

People who simply live together cannot assume they have the same rights to each other's assets as spouses or civil partners. Michelle McGagh sees how they can protect their financial interests
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

    Trust Accountant - Kent

    NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

    Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

    Law Costs

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style