HC Deb 16 February 1998 vol 306 cc751-2
14. Mr. Corbett

What plans he has to make applications for lottery funding simpler for small community organisations in Birmingham and the west midlands. [27598]

Mr. Fisher

The National Lottery Bill will help to ensure that more lottery money reaches small-scale projects in local communities throughout the United Kingdom.

Mr. Corbett

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply and welcome the small grants scheme that is to be brought into being. Also, I urge my hon. Friend to consider the need in some circumstances for small local voluntary organisations to get help with revenue funding either of proposed projects or the expansion of projects, especially when that seed money can help them to develop extra funding for what they are trying to do within the community. There is a big gap between bodies such as the Royal Opera house, which can put its hand out and get millions tipped into it, and voluntary bodies doing important jobs in their communities in inner-city areas.

Mr. Fisher

I suspect that hon. Members on both sides of the House would agree. The purpose of reforming the national lottery is precisely to tackle such problems and to ensure that the benefits of the lottery get into constituencies throughout the country and right down to the grass roots—to village halls, community halls and small projects that can really benefit the quality of local community life.

Mr. Steen

The problem is not merely in the west midlands—

Madam Speaker

Order. The question was on the west midlands—precisely that.

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