HC Deb 01 April 1996 vol 275 c14
14. Sir Norman Fowler

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is the total amount of money from the national lottery so far distributed in Birmingham; and if she will make a statement. [21905]

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

To date, 54 awards totalling more than £14 million have been made to organisations in Birmingham.

Sir Norman Fowler

In the Greenwich decision a great deal of emphasis was placed on local regeneration. Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that a similar emphasis will be placed on regeneration projects in Birmingham, such as Millennium point.

Mrs. Bottomley

I certainly can give a very strong assurance. My right hon. Friend has been a vigorous champion of the west midlands case. I understand the disappointment of those in the Birmingham area and look forward to meeting a delegation on Wednesday this week with other members of the Millennium Commission to discuss the various issues involved. The Millennium Commission is committed to the use of lottery money wherever possible to promote regeneration. There is much coastal path restoration, for example, although that is not so useful in the Birmingham area, but when the Millennium Commission considers the major Millennium point application I will undoubtedly pass on my right hon. Friend's strong endorsement.

Mr. Olner

The Secretary of State knows that Birmingham's £14 million is very different from the £344 million that has been received by London. When will she consider the difference in funding between the regions as it affects Birmingham and my constituency of Nuneaton in Warwickshire? Grants to such areas are too small when compared with those given to London.

Mrs. Bottomley

The hon. Gentleman makes a serious point. Although lottery money is not distributed on a quota basis, all distributing bodies intend that the distribution of lottery funds should be monitored over time. In some parts of the country, people have been quick off the mark in applying for grants; in others, there has been a shortfall. Over the year ahead, we will seek to stimulate applications in those parts of the country that have not received the benefits that others have.