Big Lottery Fund allocation for charities to rise after the Olympics

Grants for voluntary and community sector will go up by a fifth to £630m in 2013/14, says culture minister

The amount of money the Big Lottery Fund allocates to the voluntary and community sector will increase by more than 20 per cent to £630m a year after it stops funding the 2012 Olympic Games, according to culture minister John Penrose.

Questioned in a parliamentary debate on reform of the National Lottery last week, Penrose said that £520m was awarded to the voluntary and community organisations by the Big Lottery Fund in 2009/10, but he projected that £630m would be given to the sector in 2013/14.

The increase is expected despite the fact that the share of lottery ‘good cause’ money distrubuted by the Big Lottery Fund will be reduced from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.

Penrose also confirmed that he had begun negotiations with the Treasury on plans to tax the National Lottery on gross profits rather than ticket sales – a Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge that the party claimed would provide greater revenue for good causes and the Exchequer.

He said he could not indicate when the change might take place. "I’m afraid that the timetable is still slightly elastic, because the Treasury is in charge of it, since it is a tax rather than the direct responsibility of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport," he said.

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