§ Mr. Nigel Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the accuracy of the National Register of Sports Sites. 
§ Mr. Banks
The proposals for a national register of Recreational Land were originally put forward during the preparation of The Playing Pitch Strategy by the GB Sports Council, the National Playing Fields Association and the Central Council for Physical Recreation in 1989. The objectives of the Register from the outset were to monitor change in the recreational land resource; to assist in policy development at the local and national level; and to provide information to the public. An independent evaluation of the Register 1994 found a number of shortcomings with the data. These shortcomings were due to a number of factors, including the voluntary nature of the project, with owners and managers of sites under no obligation to provide data, and many refusing to co-operate.
A review of the effectiveness of the Register in 1998 indicated that the likelihood of achieving and maintaining a comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date national inventory of playing pitches was remote. Sport England, with the support of the DCMS, the National Playing Fields 200W Association and the Central Council for Physical Recreation, is currently working with local authorities on a suitable model of the Register which can be used by local authorities to undertake assessments of playing field need and provision in their area.
§ Mr. Nigel Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the criteria are for the funding of sports sites through the allocation of National Lottery money. 
§ Mr. Banks
Sport England is the statutory distributor of Lottery funding for sport in England. It dispenses these funds according to its own published criteria within a general policy framework agreed with the Government. The Council takes individual funding decisions based on a number of principles independently of Government.
Sport England has established stringent assessment criteria for applicants in which priority is given to those projects which demonstrate a commitment to increasing active sporting participation within the community, particularly those members of the community who may previously have been under-represented, for example, people with disabilities, women and junior participants. Projects that demonstrate a well thought out, structured programme for achieving this and those which expand the choice of sports available to the community are more likely to receive support. Sport England reaches its award decisions after a thorough appraisal of the many different aspects of each proposal. These criteria are fully explained in an application pack that is made available to all potential applicants to the Sport England Lottery Fund. Copies of the pack have been placed in the Libraries of the House.