HC Deb 29 June 1998 vol 315 cc11-2
10. Helen Jones (Warrington, North)

What proportion of the funding available to the Millennium Commission will be spent in the north-west region. [46322]

Mr. Banks

To date, the Millennium Commission has awarded grants totalling just over £93 million to 15 capital projects in the north-west region, from a national total of just under £1.24 billion. The north-west will also benefit from the £100 million millennium festival fund and the millennium awards scheme for individuals.

Helen Jones

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. However, is he not aware of the great disquiet in constituencies such as mine over uneven distribution of funds from the Millennium Commission? Will he undertake to do all in his power to persuade the commission to consider favourably applications from areas that have not yet received any millennium funding—which just happen to include my own constituency?

Mr. Banks

Yes, I accept that, for my hon. Friend, that is a bit of a bummer. We all like to see money coming into our constituency.

Mr. Nicholas Soames (Mid-Sussex)

The hon. Gentleman is a statesman.

Mr. Banks

I like to move around.

I tell my hon. Friend the Member for Warrington, North (Helen Jones) that a series of projects in the north-west will be of enormous benefit to the entire region. She will understand that, because of changes that we are making to lottery administration in the National Lottery Bill, a fairness test will be possible, to consider strategically how funds are spent across the country. One wants there to be greater evenness and fairness in distributing lottery funds, and I think that my hon. Friend can look with some hope to the future in respect of her constituency and large amounts coming from the lottery.