Politics - Culture: Lottery to aid socially deprived

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The Independent Online
LOTTERY MONEY will help set up better creative and sports facilities in poor communities to fight social exclusion, Chris Smith will announce today.

The Culture, Media and Sport Secretary will unveil proposals for the lottery distributors, such as the Arts and the Sports Council, to establish bursaries enabling talented individuals from deprived areas to have a chance of success. There will be no extra funds from the Government, but Mr Smith hopes lottery money could build multi-purpose "community venues" in such areas.

The plans follow recommendations from the Social Exclusion Unit, which spearheads the Government's fight against poverty. They say arts and sport can make "a real difference" to abilities and self-confidence and should be key to area regeneration schemes.

"There have been isolated examples of athletes or musicians making it to the top from deprived backgrounds," Mr Smith said yesterday. "We want to ensure such opportunities are given to such communities on a larger scale."

Local authorities and regeneration agencies will also be challenged to get "greater value for money" from assets such as greater use of schools as community places. Museums should also look for imaginative ways to help the disadvantaged gain access.