Culture minister says a rise in lottery ticket sales might result in extra money for the Arts Council
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has predicted that arts organisations could receive an additional £200m of funding over the next five years because of rising lottery ticket sales.
The department said in a statement that total income from National Lottery tickets sales was expected to be about £1.2bn higher over the next five years than had been predicted in September 2010.
At that time it was estimated that ticket sales would be worth £7.76bn between 2012/13 and 2016/17. New estimates suggest that sales over the same period will be higher, at £8.92bn.
Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, said if the new estimate was correct Arts Council England might get an an additional £160m over the next five years, increasing its income from lottery sources to £1.25bn.
A further £40m is expected go to other arts organisations, including the British Film Institute, he said.
The Arts Council is still facing a reduction in its overall funding because of cuts made in its government grant.
"It is a sign of the government’s commitment that, in a time of economic austerity, we have been able to limit the reduction in arts funding through the Arts Council to less than 5 per cent in real terms," said Vaizey.
Arts sources pointed out that the sums expected might not materialise and that the cuts in government funding of the Arts Council remained unchanged. A spokeswoman for the DCMS agreed that the increase in ticket sales might not continue as predicted over the next five years.
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said the increase in ticket sales should allow it to offset the fall in the share of good cause funding it would receive. The government announced in 2010 that the BLF’s share of good cause funding from the lottery would fall from 50 to 40 per cent on 1 April.
"The reduction that might otherwise have happened for third sector groups will at least be offset by the rise in income," said Wanless. But he said he did not yet know what effect the new Health Lottery would have on lottery ticket sales.