§ 10. Mr. Skinner
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what are the latest figures for lottery distributions per head of population in respect of each category on a regional basis. 
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
A full reply will be published in the Official Report.
All the distributing bodies are required to comply with the directions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. We want to ensure that the spread of rewards reaches all parts of the country. We are keeping arrangements under review.
§ Mr. Skinner
How can the Minister accept that it is right for people in central London to get 600 times more per head from the lottery than, say, people in the east Midlands— £2.50p a head compared with £1,500 a head? Why should Sadler's Wells, the Royal Opera house, the Royal Court theatre and the Churchill papers get well over£100 million, while brass bands in the coalfields do not get anything?
Will she put a stop to the suggestion in the press and elsewhere that there will be a fix in the run-up to the general election—that the Government intend to ensure that Tory marginals get more than their fair share of lottery funds? It is a scandal, and she should deny it or put a stop to it.
§ Mrs. Bottomley
The hon. Gentleman speaks from complete ignorance. He is wrong to think that the majority
328 of lottery awards go to Conservative marginal constituencies; in fact, the vast majority go to regeneration projects in inner-city areas. I urge him to consult the list of awards, which is published every month and is available in the House.
National Lottery: Distribution of funds by region Population Per cent. of (UK) population Number of awards Total amount awarded £ Amount per capita £ England Region London 6,933,000 12 204 199,263,132 28.74 South East 7,813,949 13 308 74,708,086 9.56 East Midlands 4,114,069 7 163 17,206,396 4.18 Eastern 5,259,958 9 181 43,704,513 8.31 Merseyside 1,441,000 2 29 9,707,029 6.74 North East 2,607,991 4 111 23,423,202 8.98 North West 5,478,725 9 253 39,076,376 7.13 South West 4,816,084 8 226 36,035,486 7.48 West Midlands 5,311,676 9 139 31,744,219 5.98 Yorkshire and Humberside 5,035,194 9 229 71,541,712 14.21 Total England 48,811,646 83 1,843 546,410,151 11.19 Scotland 5,120,200 9 468 76,927,343 15.02 Wales 2,906,500 5 250 26,847,888 9.24 Northern Ireland 1,632,000 3 190 12,424,653 7.61 United Kingdom wide 58,470,346 100 269 64,816,995 1.11 Total United Kingdom 58,470,346 100 3,020 727,427,030 12.44
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will commend the grant of £2,397 to the Bolsover Elderly Self Help Group, although it may be a little premature for him. Alternatively, he may wish to get on his bike and try the 2,400 cycle tracks being built throughout the country.
§ Mrs. Bottomley
All parts of the country are benefiting from the lottery. In the east midlands, so far there have been 163 awards amounting to £17 million. I understand that the hon. Gentleman does not have an especially low profile. I suggest that he takes the opportunity of his own personality to go around the east midlands and ensure that people apply to benefit from the lottery.
§ Sir Sydney Chapman
Is it not natural that many national institutes are based in London? Would it not be quite wrong to include them, on a regional basis, in the amounts of money going to London? Can my right hon. Friend confirm that and also that she—or the various distributing charities—is giving fair consideration to London bodies that are not national and are not situated in central London but deserve equal consideration?
§ Mrs. Bottomley
My hon. Friend will be aware that a third of the population lives in the Thames region and that many of our national institutions are situated in London. Those institutions give a good name to Britain, promote the tourist industry and are centres of excellence. The challenge is to have a tapestry of provision, including the flagship projects, spreading throughout the country. So far, 90 bowling clubs have received support, but they are not all in London; 86 theatres have received support, but they are not all in London; and more than 40 museums and galleries have received support. As the lottery unfolds, there will be plenty of opportunities to revise the distribution to ensure that all parts of the country benefit.
§ Following is the information: