Letter: Lottery applicants should seek advice from their council first

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HAVING been involved with many lottery applications (the majority successful), I agree with your article "Bonanza for fat cat lottery consultants" (4 January).

Many local authorities, seeing the benefit that lottery projects can bring, are identifying officers who will assist groups and organisations with filling in application forms. My own authority operates a lottery unit that advises any group within North East Lincolnshire who are considering making a lottery application. So I would urge any group to approach their local council in the first instance to get free help and assistance.

However, it is clear that some of the distribution boards do favour applications that are backed by consultants' reports, and when you are in a competitive situation you will obviously wish to jump through any hoop in order to be successful.

My main worry is that many small groups are missing outbecause they are being put off by the enormous amount of paperwork.

My hope is that the Government will look at this issue as part of its review of the lottery distribution process, and as well as reducing the amount of paperwork required by applicants, work with the distribution bodies to reduce the use of consultants, so enabling smaller groups to feel that they stand more chance in what has become a funding lottery.

Peter Coleman

Lottery Unit North East Lincolnshire Council, Grimsby