Lottery handouts for arts shrink

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The Independent Online
The curtain came down on huge lottery handouts for the arts in England yesterday when the Arts Council declared a pounds 15m ceiling on individual grants for the next eight years. The Government's introduction of a "sixth good cause" - youth and training - cut its cash from pounds 250m a year to pounds 200m.

The Arts Council of England said it would be more "strategic" in targeting lottery funding in future, balancing regional and national needs.

Of the pounds 1bn in capital grants over the next eight years, pounds 200m has been earmarked for projects over pounds 15m - and will barely cover schemes already in the pipeline. The South Bank Centre in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, Bristol's Harbourside Centre and Gateshead's Regional Music Centre are likely to account for that cash, if their bids are successful.

Jeremy Newton, the Arts Council's National Lottery director, said: "There simply is not enough money to meet demand."

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