HC Deb 04 March 1996 vol 273 c13
15. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what assessment she has made of the number of unsuccessful lottery bids. [16366]

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

In the 12 months from 1 January to 31 December 1995, almost 7,000 applications were received by the four arts councils, the four sports councils, the national heritage memorial fund and the Millennium Commission. Of those, fewer than 1,000 have so far been turned down—a rejection rate of 14 per cent. In the same period, the National Lottery Charities Board received more than 15,000 applications, of which around 13,000 were rejected.

Mr. Pike

Has there been any attempt to advise those whose applications were rejected as to why they failed? Are there any examples of applications from deprived areas that were unable to meet the matching requirements that are necessary to get a grant from the lottery board?

Mrs. Bottomley

I am anxious that, as we make progress with the national lottery, there should be greater assistance to those who have difficulty processing their applications and those whose first applications were unsuccessful. All the distributing bodies are trying to set in hand precisely such schemes. All the distributing bodies have flexibility over the partnership requirements for which they ask. The Sports Council for example, provides up to 90 per cent. funding for projects in areas of high need.