Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1



  1.  The Government gave the Fund its first policy directions in August 1998. These covered healthy living centres, out of school hours activities, ICT training for teachers and librarians and the digitisation of learning materials. £1 billion is available for these programmes. After consultation by the Fund, these initiatives were launched in the first half of 1999. Grant making is well advanced in all these programmes. Funds are being distributed to a planned timetable designed to spread funding over the length of the programmes.

Healthy Living Centres

  2.  This programme will develop a network of healthy living centres across the UK, accessible to the most disadvantaged 20 per cent of the population and complementing the Government's wider public health initiatives and the social exclusion agenda. There is £300 million available.

  3.  Healthy living centres offer a range of services focusing on the wider determinants of health and reflecting the needs of local communities, addressing factors such as social exclusion, mental health and poor access to services. There is no standard blueprint for a healthy living centre. Activities may, for instance, include smoking cessation, action to tackle teenage pregnancies, physical activity and advice on diet. To help us to assess applications, the Department of Health developed a model to identify areas of particular deprivation in England, which is being updated as conditions change.

  4.  By September 2000, 206 projects had been given initial approval to work up more detailed plans (for bids of £196 million). Twenty projects are underway following final approval. These have been awarded nearly £17 million. We plan to commit all of the money by September 2002.


  Using a £6.4 million grant, the "Walking the Way to Health" initiative is developing and supporting 200 community-based "Walking for Health" schemes in rural and urban areas across England. The funding is being delivered through the Countryside Agency and British Heart Foundation to smaller local partnerships who will provide a programme of short led walks. The scheme will give people the opportunity to take regular exercise and will help reduce health inequalities by targeting areas with the worst health. In pilot schemes, 63 per cent of those participating felt their stamina levels were higher, 28 per cent thought their stress levels were lower and 20 per cent said they felt they had reduced their weight. These are great indications for the start of a successful programme.

Out of School Hours Childcare

  5.  There is £220 million (including £20 million for integrated out of school hours childcare and learning schemes) available for this programme, which aims to create new and sustainable out of school hours childcare places for 865,000 children by 2003. The programme complements government funding for childcare infrastructure and project support, which is being provided via local childcare partnerships in each country.

  6.  A wide range of activity has been supported, including before and after school clubs, holiday provision and childminding. A typical club will operate around a primary school's hours for 5-11 year olds (an hour before and a couple of hours after, perhaps). We also fund some schemes for younger and older children. Over £45 million has already been committed to create over 119,000 out of schools childcare places.


  A £47,700 grant was awarded to the Creggan Early Years project in Northern Ireland to create more than 70 new childcare places. These include before and after school clubs as well as a holiday scheme, serving schools in the area. Creggan suffers from high long term unemployment. A survey prior to the award found that less than a third of young family households contained a parent who had ever participated in employment training. The project will help parents enter work and training.

Out of School Hours Learning

  7.  £205 million, including £25 million specifically for summer schools, is available to help provide out of school hours learning activities involving half of all secondary and special schools and a quarter of all primary schools by 2001. The programme supports learning activities that encourage and motivate pupils, build their self esteem and help them achieve higher standards of achievement. Activities can include homework clubs; help with key skills, such as literacy, numeracy and ICT; sports; opportunities to pursue particular interests, such as law and languages; mentoring; community service; and family learning. To date over £77 million has been committed to 480 projects involving over 5,500 schools.

  8.  We are using data on eligibility for free school meals collected from across the UK to ensure we target the most disadvantaged pupils. In the summer school programme, we particularly focus on summer schools catering for pupils with special educational needs and gifted and talented pupils.


  Tower Hamlets Summer University received a New Opportunities Fund grant for £599,000 earlier in the year. The Summer University was formed in 1995 and has been a great success. It provides such activities as web and fashion design, club DJ and club visuals, martial arts, babysitting, badminton, bike riding and river science. Many of these activities will now be extended to 12 and 13 year olds in the Junior Summer University with the help of the grant. The grant will also enable the Summer University to focus on young people in residential care, young people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties, and pupils "at risk".

ICT Training for Teachers and School Librarians

  9.  This programme is helping raise pupils' achievement by increasing the expertise of serving teachers in the use of ICT in subject teaching, and by improving the competence and confidence of school librarians in their use of ICT. £230 million is available to fund courses for all teachers and school librarians who need training.

  10.  All funding has been allocated to schools. Schools have been told how much funding is available for them to spend on training from approved suppliers. The Fund releases grants as courses are taken. So far, 160,000 teachers have signed up for courses and £55 million paid out for courses.


  Training at Ranvilles Infant School in Fareham began in January 2000 and continued through to the end of the summer term. Ranvilles' ICT manager, John Whitmore, found it a great success. He found that, "the training gave teachers a sustained input of knowledge and understanding about the way ICT can be used in their teaching. The training was within a set time period, so the learning momentum was kept up. Teachers are now using ICT in a much more creative way". For example, the school now has an impressive web site.

ICT Training for Public Library Staff

  11.  There is £20 million for the training of public library staff in the use of ICT. The scheme was launched in summer 1999, having been developed in close consultation with the Library and Information Commission (now Re:source) and a range of partners. Each Library Service in the UK has been given a funding allocation for training which is released subject to approval of training plans and use of an approved training provider.

Digitisation of Learning Materials

  12.  The Fund has made £50 million available for the digitisation of learning materials. The programme is digitising material which supports lifelong learning needs, and which will be made available, free at the point of access, through the People's Network and the National Grid for Learning. All the providers have been selected and are working on their final plans. The material they will be digitising is very diverse, ranging from scientific to cultural information.


  13.  In April 1999 the Government gave the Fund directions on three new initiatives. These followed revised estimates of the money that the Lottery is expected to generate for good causes. The initiatives cover grant programmes for Living with Cancer, Community Access to Lifelong Learning and Green Spaces and Sustainable Communities.

Cancer Prevention, Detection, Treatment and Care

  14.  This programme is promoting cancer prevention, improving access to screening and treatment and helping individuals and families cope with the impact of cancer in their lives. £150 million is available across the UK.

  15.  In England £93 million of the total available is being spent on new and replacement equipment to screen for, diagnose and treat cancer, allocated on the basis of extensive research by the Department of Health and targeting disadvantaged communities. Allocations of equipment were agreed in November 1999. The first equipment was purchased and installed in May 2000. The majority of breast screening equipment is already in place. The first scanning and radio-therapy equipment has been delivered. The remainder will be rolled out over the next three years in line with plans agreed by Health Trusts, Health Authorities and the NHS Supplies Authority.

  16.  A further £21 million has been awarded in England to fund cancer care and information projects. Ninety-one projects have been awarded grants, focusing on black and minority ethnic communities and socially disadvantaged groups.

  17.  In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales health boards and authorities will co-ordinate prevention, detection, treatment and care projects in their areas.


  The Fund has awarded over £800,000[2] to help address inequalities in palliative care provision in areas of high social deprivation and ethnic mix, covering North Mersey Health Action Zone. Staff and volunteers will co-ordinate palliative care services to enable more people to die at home, increase the provision of home care and outreach services, provide support for carers, and develop an up-to-date directory of palliative care services for patients and carers.

Community Access to Lifelong Learning

  18.  The community access to lifelong learning programme aims to encourage more adults into learning, with a particular focus on improving access to learning opportunities through the use of information and communications technology. Over £11 million has already been awarded. We are allocating £200 million by 2002 for:

    —  projects that support the development of a nation-wide network of learning centres with ICT access to information and learning;

    —  Community Grids for Learning, which support the National Grid for Learning, and provide community based web sites which are relevant and interesting; and

    —  through library authorities, the creation of a People's Network of ICT learning centres in public libraries.


  In September 2000, £100,000 was awarded to Lead Scotland, a charity working to provide education and learning opportunities for physically disabled adults. It will allow them to greatly improve distance learning opportunities for disabled students. They will now be able to develop an interactive web site, integrating on-line discussion into the learning available to disabled adults. Over 700 students and 200 volunteers will benefit as a result.

Green Spaces and Sustainable Communities

  19.  The green spaces and sustainable communities programme is the New Opportunities Fund's first environment initiative. We will distribute £125 million across the UK by 2002 for schemes that will help communities understand, improve or care for their natural and living environment, focusing on areas of disadvantage. Projects need to demonstrate both environmental and community benefits as well as a high level of involvement.

  20.  The Fund invited bids from organisations to administer awards on behalf of the Fund. The successful applicants were announced in September 2000. They include:

    —  BTCV—to create an England-wide network of 1,200 green spaces in areas of disadvantage, using volunteers to harness community involvement.

    —  Sport England—to provide and improve playing fields, school playgrounds and green spaces and develop projects for children's play.

    —  Barnardo's—to provide opportunities to play safely in neighbourhoods.

    —  The Royal Society for Nature Conservation—to support projects including sustainable transport projects and community food growing and marketing.

    —  Highlands and Islands Enterprise (announced January 2000)—to manage the Scottish Land Fund which will assist rural communities throughout Scotland purchase, develop and manage land.

  21.  Table 1 summarises the progress of the initiatives.

Table 1


ProgrammeFunding Money Committed ByProgress
Healthy living centres£300m September 2002Over 200 projects given initial approval to work up more detailed plans (for bids of £196 million)
20 projects underway after final approval (£17 million)
Out of school hours
£220m20031,564 grants have been awarded which will create 119,000 new childcare places (£45 million allocated)
Out of school hours
2001 for out of school hours 2002 for summer schools
480 awards made, usually covering many projects (£77 million distributed)
over 5,500 schools helped
ICT training for teachers and school librarians £230m2002161,100 courses ordered by teachers
all money allocated and £55m already distributed for completed courses
ICT training for public library staff£20m 2002all money allocated
over half of library authorities have submitted plans which have been approved
Digitisation£50m 2002all bids given an initial assessment and successful applicants are being given support in developing final plans
Living with cancer£150m 2002£91 million allocated to purchase cancer equipment
first equipment is now operational in hospitals
£21 million allocated to 91 care and information projects
Green spaces and sustainable communities £125mMoney already allocated to award partners all funding has been allocated to national Award Partners after an open competition. These will distribute grants to local projects
Community access to lifelong learning£200m 2002first grants given for learning centres and community grids
over £11 million allocated

October 2000

2   Subject to final negotiations. Back

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Prepared 23 January 2001