HLF may see its share of lottery money increase over the next five years. Pictured: M Shed in Bristol received a £11.65m grant from HLF

Lottery sales boom could benefit ACE and HLF

Geraldine Kendall, 17.02.2012
New figures exceed 2010 estimates of lottery income
An increase in National Lottery ticket sales could bring millions in additional funding for arts and heritage over the next five years, according to culture minister Ed Vaizey.

Speaking at the Arts Council England’s (ACE) State of the Arts conference this week, Vaizey said that the latest projections show that £1.25bn of lottery income could be distributed by ACE over the next five years - a rise of £160m on estimates put forward at the time of the 2010 comprehensive spending review.

If the projected figures are realised, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which is the chief distributor of lottery money for museums, would also see its share of funding rise by the same proportion over the next five years. £1.42bn is expected to be available for HLF between 2011/12 and 2015/16 - a 14.7% increase on 2010 projections.

Vaizey said: "The increase in ticket revenue is great news for artists and audiences across the country."

Museums Association director Mark Taylor welcomed the news, but warned that the projected rise was not guaranteed income and should not be conflated with public expenditure.

He said: "It is welcome, though a little poignant, that as times gets worse, people seem to want to gamble more. The government should remember that lottery money, welcome as it is, is not a replacement for the terrible cuts all museums are suffering at the moment."

The lottery bodies are also set to get a boost from changes to funding distribution due in April this year, which will mean that the share of available lottery money for arts and heritage rises from 16.6% to 20%. In addition, ACE and HLF will see some income restored by the end of the transfer of lottery funding for Olympic costs.

Taylor added: "It is really important that ACE and HLF talk and collaborate to make sure their strategic and funding decisions get the best out of each other rather than contradict."