Lottery funding for good causes is expected to rise from £1.3bn this year to £1.7bn in 2013/14 because the government will stop using the money to fund the London Olympics, according to John Penrose, the tourism and heritage minister.
Gareth Thomas, the shadow civil society minister, asked Penrose in parliament yesterday how much extra lottery funding there would be for good causes, which include sports, arts and heritage bodies as well as the Big Lottery Fund, once the 2012 games were over.
Penrose said lottery funding for good causes in the current financial year was estimated at £1.3bn. In the financial year 2013/14 it would be about £1.7bn, he said.
Ben Wittenberg, director of policy and research at the Directory of Social Change – which is campaigning for the government to give back £425m of the money that was taken from the BLF for the games – said the anticipated increase in funding should not be seen as a boost to the sector.
"The reference to this money being ‘extra’ is depressing," he said. "It looks like more money for the sector only because the government took money away before," said Wittenberg.
The BLF has contributed £638m to the Olympic Games. In April the government pledged that £425m of this would be paid back, but it has not indicated when this will happen.
The Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Garden of Frognal told the House of Lords yesterday that the London 2012 Organising Committee had received 240,000 applications for its 70,000 volunteering roles at the games.