Call for county to receive ‘fair share’ of lottery grants

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MANY parts of South Yorkshire are receiving below-average levels of lottery grants, new figures have revealed.

The amount of National Lottery funding given out across the UK between the lottery’s founding in 1995 and 2011 equates to £38 million per parliamentary constituency.

But a report by the Industrial Communities Alliance has revealed that some parts of South Yorkshire received only a fraction of that amount.

Good causes in Barnsley East received just £8 million, while Rother Valley had £9.6m.

Don Valley received £12.2 million, Wentworth and Dearne £12.7 million, Doncaster North £14.2 million and Penistone and Stocksbridge £25.2 million.

Yet other areas of South Yorkshire have received a much larger share - with Rotherham receiving £66.1m and Barnsley Central £39.8m.

Wentworth and Dearne Labour MP John Healey has called for the grants to be distributed more equally.

He said: “This is a time when we need support more than ever.

“Our area is bearing the brunt of government spending cuts and that is putting local facilities and services under threat and limiting the good work charities and community groups can do.

“Yorkshire sportsmen and women have just won a haul of medals for Team GB at the Olympics.

“We need to continue to nurture and develop young talent and for that we need a fair share of lottery funding.”

Mr Healey said that National Lottery grants coming into South Yorkshire peaked in the mid-2000s.

But he said they have ‘slumped recently’ while inequalities between rich and poor have widened.

He added that London has received more than three times the amount of lottery cash received by the entire Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Mr Healey said that many of the local National Lottery grants had been awarded for major schemes such as £23 million on Millennium projects including the development of Magna Science Adventure Centre, at Templeborough, Rotherham.