§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of Lord Rothschild's statement at the time of the publication of the 1996–97 Annual Report of the Heritage Lottery Fund relating to the reduction of lottery funding for purposes related to heritage. 
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
When the Lottery was launched in 1994, the good causes were expected to receive around £9 billion in total over the first licence period, that is78W £1.8 billion for each of the five good causes, including heritage. When we raised that forecast to £10 billion, we were able to provide £1 billion for the New Opportunities Fund without affecting the expectations of the original good causes. We now expect the Lottery to raise £10.6 billion for the good causes over the licence period, which ends in September 2001. £200 million of the extra £600 million will be shared equally between the heritage, the arts, sport and charities, with the balance of £400 million going to the New Opportunities Fund. The Heritage Lottery Fund can therefore now count on receiving at least £1.85 billion in total during the present licence.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 3 February that, following the reduction in the percentage income shares to the heritage, the arts, sport and charities from 16⅔ per cent. to 5 per cent. for thirteen weeks from 15 February in order to provide the extra revenue for the New Opportunities Fund, each is guaranteed to receive 16⅔ per cent. for the remainder of the licence period. This is in addition to the undertaking we have already given that these good causes are each gauranteed 16⅔ per cent. of Lottery proceeds after the current licence expires. These guarantees give the Heritage Lottery Fund a clear financial framework within which to plan its future spending and operate the new strategic approach to Lottery distribution we have introduced.