Government rejects SCVO’s lottery cash claim

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has rejected the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ claim that lottery funding for organisations north of the border will drop by 70 per cent next year because of the diversion of funds to the 2012 Olympics.

According to the SCVO, figures released last week by the Big Lottery Fund as part of its consultation on future spending priorities show that funding will fall from around £85m a year for the last three years to just under £24m in 2009/10. Funding will rise to just under £40m for 2011/12, the SCVO said.

Lucy McTernan, acting chief executive of the SCVO, said that although cuts had been widely anticipated, the scale of them would be "truly devastating" for organisations.

She said: "The BLF must use the opportunity of its consultation to ensure that 100 per cent of BLF funding goes to the voluntary sector in future. We are also urging the Government to compensate Scottish charities for the loss of the lottery funding that was diverted to pay for the Olympics."

But a DCMS spokeswoman said the department did not recognise the figures. She said the department estimated BLF funds would decrease by about 17 per cent over the next four years, although she emphasised that the amount of money that went to Scotland and Wales was decided by the BLF.

"Scotland has received over £2bn in Lottery money since 1994, and we are clear that no further diversion from Lottery good causes will go to fund the Olympics," she added.

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