Memorandum submitted by the Institute
of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM)
1. ILAM is the professional body for managers
of leisure provision in the UK. The institute is an independent,
voluntary sector organisation with over 6,000 members. It's overall
purpose is to promote the better management of leisure resources
to provide better public access to a wide range of cultural and
recreational experiences, in order to enhance the quality of life
for individuals and communities. The Institute's charitable status
underpins its dedication to the public good.
2. The Institute's evidence concentrates
on the levels of funds for the good causes raised by the National
Lottery and the distribution of these funds between the good causes,
including whether the existing good causes should be reviewed,
whether some should be dropped and/or whether new good causes
should be introduced.
3. The Institute welcomed the introduction
of a National Lottery and is pleased at its continuing success.
It is particularly pleased that the range of good causes supported
by the National Lottery includes investment in the arts, sport,
play and our cultural and environmental heritage. This is helping
to repair a long decline in investment in the recreational and
cultural infrastructure which does so much to benefit society
and the wider economy. It is pleasing to note that many of the
projects supported from the Millennium Fund, such as the "Heart
of the City" project in Sheffield, also provide new leisure
spaces in the public realm or, in the case of the National Cycleway,
greater access to leisure in the countryside.
4. ILAM fully supported the "new directions"
given to National Lottery Distribution Bodies by the Secretary
of State for Culture, Media and Sport. ILAM argued from the beginning
that all projects funded from the National Lottery should demonstrate
benefit to children and young people, address social and economic
depravation, and serve the needs of sustainable development.
5. Whilst the Institute also supported the
creation of the New Opportunities Fund (NOF), it viewed with some
concern the move away from investment in environmental regeneration.
ILAM fears that the benefits to education and health of investing
in recreation, culture and the environment are not fully appreciated.
With the report of the Urban Task Force Towards Urban Renaissance,
and the imminent publication of the Urban White Paper, ILAM believes
that National Lottery funding should, in future, give more support
to the urban environment. To quote the Urban Task Force Chairman,
Lord Rogers "I am amazed how difficult it is for many to
understand the simple equation that physical dereliction affects
social well-being. Poverty and social exclusion are inextricably
connected to the state of our cities" (Observer 20 February
6. In this regard, the New Opportunities
Fund is particularly disappointing. Notwithstanding the declared
intention to dedicate this funding stream to "Health, Education
and the Environment", the Institute is aware of only one
environmental scheme"Green Spaces and Sustainable
Communities". Totalling just £125 million, this is the
smallest scheme the New Opportunities Fund operates and has just
recently announced how this fund will be distributed. Despite
supporting the umbrella schemes identified, particularly the increased
support for children's play, the Institute is disappointed that
a scheme supporting the plight of urban parks has not been identified
as receiving funding. The Environment Sub-committee of the Environment,
Transport and Regional Affairs Committee (ETRAC), stated in the
report from their inquiry into Town and Country parks, "a
substantial amount of the New Opportunity Funds should be spent
on parks. The funds should go to small local parks as well as
to major parks".
7. In ILAM's view the New Opportunities
Fund, whose creation reduced the income streams of the other distribution
bodies, should provide for greater investment in the public realm;
the city spaces and town squares, public parks and gardens. All
must be improved if people are to be encouraged to move back to
the urban environment and reduce pressure on the countryside from
sprawling suburban developments. The Institute would suggest a
wholly new National Lottery Distribution Body called the Environment
Fund which would take over the income stream formerly enjoyed
by the Millennium Fund and remove environment from the portfolio
of the New Opportunities Fund where it is clearly the Cinderella
of the National Lottery.
8. The Heritage Lottery Fund is viewed by
ILAM as having the widest scope of all the distribution bodies
in terms of the cultural and recreational activity it is able
to support. This is particularly true of the leisure opportunities
to which access is free, thus helping to provide the greatest
benefit to the least well-off. With the exception of the Charities
Lottery Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund has tied up the least
money in awards to prestigious national institutions. The Institute
believes the Committee should keep these two points firmly in
mind when considering any criticism of "elitism".
9. The biggest award made by the Heritage
Lottery Fund is for major restoration works to the Kennet and
Avon Canal; a project which enhances free public access, involves
volunteers and promotes the local economy of a wide area. The
Heritage Lottery Fund is investing in Nature Reserves, Seafront
Piers, Public Parks, Museums and Townscapes. It has also made
awards to enable the re-use of historic buildings such as churches
and warehouses for new community uses, often in the poorest parts
of the United Kingdom. The Heritage Lottery Fund is the prime
agent whereby the National Lottery is able to turn the industrial
infrastructure of the last century into the leisure capital of
the post-industrial age, creating important new assets in the
UK economy. Over 60 per cent of all foreign tourists give "heritage"
as their prime reason for visiting the UK. Heritage Lottery Fund
awards are also helping to promote sustainable development through
the conservation of both built and natural physical resources,
enhancing their value to local communities. ILAM believes this
10. ILAM is clear that it is not the role
of the Heritage Lottery Fund to make up for funding deficiencies
in the programmes of established national agencies. It is better
to identify areas of heritage which lack such institutional support
and have suffered as a result. ILAM has praised particularly the
Heritage Lottery Fund's Urban Parks Programme. Previously, no
other national body or Government department has exhibited any
meaningful regard for the public parks and gardens of our towns
and cities. Nor have they given support to the local authorities
responsible for their care, as is the case for most other leisure
provision. Despite their obvious decline, urban parks remain the
most used recreation facility, and the most accessible to those
with limited income.
11. The neglect in Britain of a heritage
which has inspired successful cities the world over, is a sad
reflection on the societal and civic values which once inspired
their creation. However, the Institute would like to remind members
of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee that it was only their
intervention in the Heritage Lottery Fund's draft Strategic Plan,
prompted by ILAM's verbal evidence to the Committee, that saved
public parks as a distinct item in the Heritage Lottery Fund's
Strategic Plan. This Plan is due to be revised shortly and the
Institute would urge the Committee to again put down a marker
that it expects to see the trustees of the Heritage Lottery Fund
give at least as big an allocation in the next Strategic Plan
as it was persuaded to do in the current Plan. This is £30
million per year.
12. The Institute would urge for the continued
support of sport Lottery funding for the World Class Programme.
This Olympics have shown that with proper funding British Athletes
can perform and compete on the world stage. Not only did this
result in the largest medal tally for decades but also in the
number of personal bests that were achieved by British competitors.
It would be naive to reduce the funding now as it takes time to
realise the true benefits of this additional support and Sydney
2000 was only a start in the entire process. The Institute would
therefore urge the Committee to recommend that the current levels
of support are maintained.
13. The Institute feels that priority funding
should be given in all capital bids (from £100k-£5 million)
to refurbishment, repair and upgrading of existing arts buildings,
rather than the development of new buildings. It is also important
that funding is available to make these existing facilities and
any new venues properly accessible to all aspects of the community.
14. Where feasible, ILAM believes, that
the links between any improvements to the fabric of arts buildings
and the overall financial health of the organisation should be
carefully considered. For example, in any capital programme bids,
there must be much better scrutiny of business plans and income
projections than has been the case over the last five years. It
is also important that any impact assessment of the use of Lottery
monies to attract new audiences to the arts, is structured to
take into account the fact that this cannot happen overnight,
and that a more effective way of measuring the expansion of the
audience base is developed.
15. To assist in this process strategic
planning from the regions must also be sound and the Arts Councils
must be full partners in developing infrastructure in the most
needy parts of the country.
16. These Awards have been extremely successful
in assisting the voluntary sector, local clubs and community groups
in obtaining smaller amounts of funding for important projects.
The Institute is pleased that these Awards reduce the amount of
bureaucracy and enable communities to apply for greater assistance.
The Institute has always had concerns over the bureaucracy that
community groups had to go through in order to gain Lottery funding
and has felt that this has been a deterrent for those that may
not have access to the expertise needed to put successful applications
17. The Institute would also like to see
the Regional Cultural Consortiums have a greater say in the allocation
of Lottery funds at a regional level to ensure that local and
regional priorities are identified and fulfilled.