National Lottery: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Smith of Finsbury Lord Smith of Finsbury Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to using the National Lottery Distribution Fund exclusively to support the arts, heritage and sports industries to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic over the next three years.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Income raised by the National Lottery funds good causes in four broad areas, which are set out in the National Lottery Act 1993: communities 40%, arts 20%, heritage 20%, and sport 20%. The government remains committed to funding these four areas and funds are distributed by 12 Lottery Distributing Bodies (LDBs) at arm’s length from government.

The National Lottery distributors have directed up to £600m of funding to UK charities and organisations to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included specific support for the Arts, Heritage and Sports sectors:

  • Arts Council England reallocated £144 million of National Lottery funding to form their £160 million emergency response package to support individuals and organisations across the cultural sector to deal with the immediate impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund has provided £50 million through its Heritage Emergency Fund, which was set up in April to support people and organisations in the heritage sector as a response to the Covid crisis. Phase 1 of this Fund provided grants between £3,000 and £50,000; in phase 2 of the Fund, applicants could apply for grants of up to £250,000.

  • The National Lottery has contributed £172m towards Sport England’s £210m fund to support the sport and physical activity sector through COVID-19. This includes the £35 million Community Emergency Fund, which is helping community sports clubs and exercise centres to remain open during the pandemic.

More information about the support the National Lottery is providing in response to Covid-19 can be found on the National Lottery Promotions Unit website:

In addition to National Lottery funding, the government has also provided specific support for these sectors, including investing an unprecedented £1.57 billion, the biggest ever one-off cash injection into UK culture, to tackle the crisis facing our most loved arts organisations and heritage sites. Similarly, the government has provided substantial support to the sport sector, including tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, alongside urgent work to support sport clubs as a result of clubs not being able to admit spectators to stadia from the 1 October.

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