We have harvested a range of answers to questions on the operation of the UK National Lottery Good Causes funding in Scotland; and on its future in Scotland should Scotland choose independence.
Good Causes funding distributed in Scotland
The Scottish office for Lottery promotions told us that:
- Over £2.3 BN has been invested in Scotland since the National Lottery began.
- In the calendar year, 2012 over £109 M was invested in Good Causes projects across Scotland.
An indication of the comparative value of this source of funding to Scotland is the announcement today by First Minister Alex Salmond that the commitment to revoking the frightful ‘bedroom tax’ will cost future Scottish governments £60 M per annum.
Good Causes fund holders
There are a range of Lottery fund holders, each with specific areas of interest and who independently decide which projects in their fields have successfully justified the award of a grant.
Each of these is independent of Government but acts within given guidelines when deciding on the recipients of National Lottery funding.
Those operating in Scotland or with a funding brief that includes Scotland, are:
- British Film Institute
- Big Lottery
- Creative Scotland
- Heritage Lottery Fund
- Legacy Trust UK
- Sport Scotland
- UK Sport
Historic Scotland is a separate organisation so while they may fund the same projects as Heritage Lottery Fund, they don’t distribute Lottery cash. Highlands and Islands Enterprise did control the Growing Communities Fund and while they do not now distribute Lottery cash, like Historic Scotland, they may fund similar projects.
If Scotland voted to leave the Union
Alan Reid, Argyll and Bute’s MP, whom we asked for information on this, tells us that the continuation or not of the UK National Lottery post-independence is ‘one of the “Known Unknowns”, to quote Rumsfeld’.
Alan says that: ‘Like so much in the Independence debate, the outcome would depend on the negotiations between the Scottish and UK Governments following a ‘Yes’ vote in a referendum.’
Taking things further, Alan says that the referendum situation is ‘made more complicated by the Tories’ wish to have a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU which leaves open six possible outcomes :
- Scotland independent, in the EU and the UK in the EU
- Scotland independent, in the EU and the UK out of the EU
- Scotland independent, out of the EU and the UK in the EU
- Scotland independent, out of the EU and the UK out of the EU
- Scotland in the UK and the UK in the EU
- Scotland in the UK and the UK not in the EU’
On the specific matter of the future of the UK Lottery and the distribution of its Good Causes funding in Scotland, Alan says: ‘There would seem to be two viable outcomes from the Lottery negotiations:
- The Lottery continues as at present, but sales at outlets in Scotland and on-line sales to people with addresses in Scotland go to the Scottish Government, or
- There are two separate lotteries – one in Scotland and one in the UK
‘Option 1 would probably be the preferred one because the more customers, the bigger the prizes, the greater the attraction to gamblers.’
And his last word? ‘The referendum debate is full of Known Unknowns. It’s the Unknown Unknowns we have to worry about.’