Letter: Lottery cash for redundancies

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The Independent Online
Lottery cash for redundancies

Sir: Anthony Bevins and David Lister mistakenly claim that the Arts Council of England has made a "discreet change" in its guidance on the use of Lottery money ("Lottery funds Royal Opera pay-offs", 16 June).

The article states that we have adopted a "new interpretation" in order to fund redundancies caused by Lottery-related closures. This is not so. The Arts Council's published guidance clearly states that "redundancy costs created by closure" are allowable. This has always been the case. Indeed, some lottery funded projects have already received money as a contribution to redundancy costs.

Redundancies are always regrettable. However, in the case of the Royal Opera House, this option will be considerably more economical than the alternative of continuing to fund jobs which will not be required while the theatre is closed. In the long-term, of course, the Lottery is a major creator of employment. Nearly 18,000 jobs have been generated in its first 18 months.

GRAHAM DEVLIN

Acting Secretary-General

The Arts Council of England

London SW1

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