England loses out from Big Lottery Fund

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MPs have called for a review into how lottery funds are allocated after it was revealed that causes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive more money than those in England.

Last year charities in Scotland were given £76 million of the Big Lottery Fund’s money, equating to £14.04 per person but spending per head in England was £9.32, or £510 million.

Wales and Northern Ireland were given the most, £14.29 and £14.21 per person respectively.

The fund, set up in 2004, is responsible for distributing millions of pounds of the National Lottery’s “good cause money” to community groups and charity projects working in health, education and the environment.

Last night Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, called for a review into how money from ticket sales was shared out.

“It is absolutely outrageous that people who buy their lottery tickets in good faith are seeing their hard-earned money being siphoned north of the border,” she told the Daily Mail.

“The Scots already get far more than the English in terms of public spending so why do they get so much lottery money on top of this? This needs to be looked at urgently. The union is precious but this is too much.”

Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, added: “People will be shocked by this. It would appear that Scotland wins the lottery every year.”

In the fund’s annual report it says that money spent in Scotland has benefited “everything from community gardens to healthy eating projects, to befriending and mentoring projects for disengaged young people, and arts initiatives for people with mental health difficulties”.

Some of the money has been spent on children’s cookery lessons in Glasgow, “interactive” puppet workshops in the Highlands and a free recording studio for youngsters in Dunfermline.

Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, said: “The Big Lottery Fund needs to look more carefully at how they distribute money. There are plenty of good causes in my constituency.”

A spokesman for the fund said: “Population is one key factor we take into consideration when determining our funding, but we do so alongside other social and economic factors.

“We continually review allocation of our funding to ensure people across the UK can access it, and that it makes the biggest possible difference.”

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