Lottery funding shortfall
10 Nov 2017 03:36 PM
Recovery plan needed to mitigate sport and culture cuts.
Sports and cultural jobs and projects across Scotland are being put under threat after sweeping cuts to National Lottery income for good causes.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Sport Minister Aileen Campbell have written to their Westminster counterpart Karen Bradley calling for a recovery plan to offset the 14% cut between 2015/16 and 2016/17 and a further 4% cut in the first half of 2017/18. Ms Campbell first wrote in March to raise the issue and has not received a reply.
National Lottery income makes up nearly 40% of Creative Scotland’s and SportScotland’s total income. The fall in funding, in part, follows the UK Government’s decision to deregulate the charity lottery market.
Ms Campbell said:
“I am deeply concerned at the UK Government’s lack of action to address this important issue.
“This huge fall in income puts the delivery of sport and cultural projects at risk, threatens jobs and could roll back some of the recent improvements we have seen in the physical activity levels of the people of Scotland.
“These year-on-year declines prove extremely challenging against the backdrop of continued austerity measures imposed by Westminster. It would be irresponsible of the UK Government to make no attempt to offset the reductions in lottery income.
“We encourage them to develop a recovery plan that sets out the action to address the reductions and therefore mitigate against the impact to these sectors in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.”
The full letter is as follows:
The Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7 November 2017
Aileen Campbell wrote to your Department on 2 March 2017 setting out concerns regarding the declining revenue from the National Lottery and consequent reduction in income available to sportscotland. Given no response has been received over the eight months which have passed, we are now writing to you with concern at what appears to be a lack of action from the UK Government to address this issue and to highlight the impact this severe decline is having on both the sport and culture sectors.
As you are aware, National Lottery income for good causes reduced by 14% between 2015/16 and 2016/17 and by a further 4% in the first half of 2017/18. Both organisations are forecasting significant continuing reductions in the remainder of 2017/18 and in 2018/19. With National Lottery income making up nearly 40% of Creative Scotland’s and sportscotland’s total income, these reductions are of critical concern and put both jobs and provision at risk. The reduced income relating to Big Lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund also contribute to significant consequences for Scotland.
These year-on-year declines prove extremely challenging against the backdrop of continued austerity measures imposed by Westminster, which will see the Scottish Government’s budget cut by £2.9 billion over a 10-year period. It would be irresponsible of the UK Government to make no attempt to offset the reductions in lottery income. We encourage you to develop a recovery plan that sets out the action to address the reductions and therefore mitigate against the impact to these sectors in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.
FIONA HYSLOP and AILEEN CAMPBELL