Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence




  The Arts Council of England, together with the Arts Councils for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, distributes the arts share of the Lottery good causes fund. The Arts Council of England receives 71 per cent of the total good causes fund allocated for the arts in the UK.

  Since 1995, 8,500 Lottery awards—worth over £1 billion—have been granted by the Arts Council of England and the 10 Regional Arts Boards. Also, the Arts Council's contribution of £5 million to the cross-distributor Awards for All programmes has supported 1,400 arts projects. The National Foundation for Youth Music (NFYM), which is supported with a three year Lottery grant of £30 million for the Arts Council, has so far supported over 100 projects. For example, NYFM has earmarked £10 million for Youth Music Action Zones and its National Instrument Amnesty collected over 6,000 instruments which were distributed to over 1,000 music projects.

  Lottery awards have supported a wide range of initiatives—from major new art spaces, such as the Soho Theatre, Milton Keynes Theatre and Gallery and The Drum in Birmingham, to the purchase of new instruments for hundreds of brass bands.

  The 99 most deprived boroughs in England have between them received in excess of £900 million from all the Arts Council of England's Lottery projects. This represents 72 per cent of the total Lottery money distributed by the Arts Council.


  The Lottery has contributed to 78 new arts buildings across England including 13 new theatres, three new school arts centres, four new cinemas, four new galleries, three bandstands, two circus tents, one arts training centre for people with visual impairment, and one mobile cinema.


  Over 500 existing arts buildings have been refurbished with Lottery funds, ranging from the small-scale, such as Sheringham Little Theatre, Norfolk and Acorn Theatre in Penzance to the re-development of major landmark buildings such as the bomb-damaged Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and the Birmingham Hippodrome.


  The Arts Council's first Lottery-funded Capital Programme helped to attract nearly £1.5 billion in partnership funding—equivalent to 60 per cent of the total cost of all the capital projects.


  Arts Council Lottery investment has supported 230 arts projects with a specific regeneration focus, making awards totalling £428 million. Examples include:

Salford Quays

  £44.6 million was awarded to Salford City Council for The Lowry Centre, a waterfront complex that includes the Lowry Building, two theatres, galleries to re-house the collection of work by L S Lowry, a study centre and children's gallery. The Lowry Centre has provided a focal point for the regeneration of Salford Quays. Private sector investment alone in the area had exceeded £200 million by 1998, and the Lowry has exceeded its visitor predictions.

South Bank of the Tyne

  The south bank of the Tyne, previously an area of industrial semi-dereliction, is being regenerated through the arts. The Baltic, the largest gallery other than Tate Modern in the UK, and the Music Centre Gateshead have each received Lottery awards of over £40 million. They are stimulating a 15-year, £200 million regeneration programme, creating 1,500 jobs.

Media centres across the country

  The Arts Council has invested Lottery funds in a national network of media centres, including the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol, Hull Time Based Arts, The Lux Centre in London, and the Light House centres in Brighton and Wolverhampton. By providing access to digital media production resources, training, technical and administrative assistance, and opening up opportunities for exhibition, touring, networking and employment for local practitioners, their impact on local regeneration is significant. The national network is developing strong links with other European cultural and arts centres in Rotterdam, Karlsruhe, Vienna and Linz. They have also enabled the successful levering of additional funds. For example, Wolverhampton Lighthouse attracted a further £500,000 from the European Regional Development Fund to expand the centre's role as a "nursery" for local creative micro enterprises.


  We have invested in former coalfield areas through a number of Lottery programmes, for example:

  Yorkshire Sculpture Park received £1.5 million from our capital programme to fund the purchase of additional land and buildings adjoining the Park. This has allowed the Yorkshire Sculpture park to improve road access and create a new visitor centre and education facilities and increase its gallery space for new sculpture commissions.

  Side Photography, Durham received £30,000 from Northern Arts through the Regional Arts Lottery Programme, to work with young people in former coalfield communities to produce a photographic exhibition and publication.

  Bingham Infants Self-Help, Nottinghamshire received £80,000 from our capital programme to develop a multi-purpose hall for arts activities, for use by the school-children and the wider community.

  Washington Arts Centre, Sunderland received a capital award of £240,800 to improve its facilities, which now include a small theatre, gallery, recording studio, craft studios, and art and craft commissions.

  We have also made awards totalling over £2 million to brass brands in coalfield areas.


  Visitor numbers for several Arts Council Lottery funded developments have exceeded expectations, for example:

Walsall Gallery

  Walsall Gallery opened in February this year, following a £15.75 million Lottery award, and is already being hailed as one of the most exciting new galleries to open in the UK in the last 20 years. It has attracted many more visitors than anticipated: 165,750 during the first seven months—against the originally projected figure of 140,000 for the whole of the first year.

Royal Opera House

  The Royal Opera House re-opened in December 1999 after a £220 million re-development, which included a £78 million Lottery award from the Arts Council. Since re-opening, the Royal Opera House has sold over 479,000 tickets for main stage performances, and more than 30,000 tickets for events in the Linbury Studio. 40 per cent of people attending performances in the main auditorium during the opening season and 71 per cent of those attending events in the Linbury Studio had never been to the Royal Opera House before. Over 100,000 children, young people and adults took part in activities organised by the Education Department in the opening season.


  We have given nearly 500 Lottery awards worth £220 million to capital projects benefiting children and young people and over £45 million to community arts projects designed to encourage more young people to get involved in the arts.

  Through our pilot dance and drama scholarship scheme, we used Lottery funds to enable nearly 1,200 students to take up places at 29 dance and drama colleges throughout England in 1997-99. This scheme has now been taken up by the DfEE and DCMS.

  Also, the Arts Council has supported the re-development of a number of arts training facilities including 21 dance centres across the country; Henshaw's Arts & Crafts Centre, a training centre for visually-impaired people in Knaresborough; and the development of the Arvon Foundation's fourth residential centre for writing in Shropshire.

  Over £25 million has been awarded to schools and colleges across the country to extend their artistic activities and create new community theatres, galleries and arts centres.


  Over £140 million has gone to capital projects where disabled people are the primary users or participants.


  988 Lottery awards have been made to community or voluntary arts organisations for new equipment, vehicles or musical instruments, including 30 awards to village halls across the country for new staging and lighting equipment.

  Arts 4 Everyone (A4E) Express distributed £21 million to over 5,300 community and voluntary arts groups across the country. Over 42,000 performances, 63,000 workshops and 76,000 pieces of new work have been created through A4E Express, with over seven million people attending the events and over half a million participating in them.


  490 awards have been made from the £13 million allocated to the programme since the Regional Arts Lottery Programme opened in 1999. The average award has been £24,000. A further £23 million has been allocated for the next stage of the programme.


  Since July 1999 over £5 million has been awarded to 130 organisations under the Small-scale Capital Programme. The average award is £41,000. This programme has now been absorbed into the Regional Arts Lottery Programme, run by the Regional Arts Boards.


  The National Touring Programme provides Lottery awards to organisations that tour high quality arts to all regions of the country. In its first nine months of operation the Lottery-funded National Touring Programme has supported 212 projects across the country with awards totalling over £7.2 million.


  The Arts Council has given Lottery awards to artists and arts organisations in every London and metropolitan borough, every unitary authority and every county and district council in England.


  The Arts Council was responsible for Lottery funding for British film from 1996 to April 2000, when we handed it over to the new Film Council. During our tenure we awarded over £97 million to British films, which in turn attracted more than £70 million from UK commercial sources and £80 million in overseas investment.

  We did not set out to fund "block-busters"—this, we felt, was the role of the commercial sector. Our aim was to foster talented individuals at every stage of their career, supporting films of every type: from cutting edge experimental work to animation, from shorts to quality mainstream features.

  34 directors, 19 producers, and 29 screenwriters made their first feature films with Lottery funding. Highlights include Mike Leigh's Topsy Turvy, which was awarded £2 million of Lottery funds and won two Oscars; Wilde, starring Stephen Fry; Hilary and Jackie, the film of the life of Jacqueline Du Pre; and Billy Elliott, the recently released and highly acclaimed film by Stephen Daldry which received £850,000 from the Arts Council in 1999.

October 2000

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