Lottery pays for 'white elephants'

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THE NATIONAL Lottery came under attack last night for ploughing money into a host of "white elephant" projects that jeopardise the future of the nation's theatres.

The criticism was levelled by the Theatres Trust, which has become increasingly concerned by the number of projects around the country which are sapping money from a dwindling pot of National Lottery cash at the expense of what the trust considers vitally important work to save theatres.

In the trust's annual report published yesterday, director Peter Longman was scathing of the Government's desire to share more of the lottery money with grass-roots small and medium scale community projects throughout the regions.

Mr Longman said yesterday: "Rarely, if ever, in the arts has so much money and effort been wasted. The next few years are likely to see the completion of some white elephants that should never have been started and some vastly over-elaborate refurbishments."

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