Big Lottery Fund income down by £60m last year

The figure, shown in its accounts for the year to 31 March, reflects a cut of £120m in the amount received from the National Lottery

The Big Lottery Fund’s overall income fell by about £60m last year after a £120m decrease in the amount of money it received from the National Lottery, its latest accounts show.

According to the BLF’s annual report and accounts for the year to 31 March 2017, published yesterday, overall income fell from £820.2m the previous year to £762.1m.

This came after a near £120m fall in proceeds from the National Lottery, which declined from £769.3m in 2015/16 to less than £652m last year.

But the BLF also received £94.5m in dormant bank account money from the Reclaim Fund, a significant increase on the £37.2m it received the year before, the accounts show.

Last month, figures from the Gambling Commission showed that the total amount of money given to the National Lottery Distribution Fund in the 2016/17 financial year was £1.63bn, a fall of 15 per cent on the £1.93bn handed over in 2015/16.

A statement at the time by Camelot, the company that runs the National Lottery, said the value of ticket sales in 2016/17 had fallen from a record of £7.6bn to £6.9bn.

Camelot said it had launched a strategic review to work out how to boost player interest.

The BLF accounts also show that its grant expenditure increased from £593.4m to £717.4m, with total expenditure increasing from £715.5m to £876.3m.

This means there is a £114.3m gap between the BLF’s income and expenditure for the 2016/17 financial year.

In a statement, a BLF spokeswoman said: "Last year, we awarded £712.7m and supported 13,814 projects in communities across the UK. In the past decade we have seen fluctuations in income and yet have awarded more than £8.5bn to people who have great ideas to support their communities and help them to thrive. 

"In addition to National Lottery revenue, our income includes funding we distribute on behalf of third parties and dormant accounts. These can vary and we anticipate awarding more than half a billion pounds to support people and communities across the UK next year."

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