John demands fairness in lottery funding after figures show South Yorkshire towns have lost £83m

MP John Healey is demanding fairness in lottery funding after new research showing many parts of South Yorkshire receive just a fraction of the national average.

Figures provided by the Wentworth and Dearne MP show Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster have lost out on more than £83m since lottery funding began in 1995.

Mr Healey carried out research which also showed that:

– Funding is well below average for most constituencies in Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster. Rother Valley and Barnsley East have received just a quarter of the national average.

– Cash coming into the three South Yorkshire towns peaked in the mid-2000s but has slumped recently and inequalities have widened.

– London, for example, has received 326% of the funding that Yorkshire and Humberside has received – but it only has 1.5 times as many people.

– Since lottery funding began, Rotherham has received 1,388 grants totalling more than £82m – mostly (£23m) for Millenium projects like the Magna Science Adventure Centre

– Doncaster has received 1,115 grants worth nearly £66m

– 1,090 grants totalling £75m have gone to good causes in Barnsley, £23m of which was for heritage projects.

It follows a report by the Industrial Communities Alliance (ICA) which found Britain’s industrial areas receive just 60% of the national average of funding per head, while big cities are receiving more than their fair share – around two and a half times as much lottery funding as industrial communities.

The ICA estimate the cumulative loss to Britain’s industrial communities is £3 billion (£200 million per year).

Mr Healey will be meeting ICA chair Cllr Eion Watts soon to discuss the findings and how inequality in funding will be pressed in Parliament and with ministers.

Mr Healey 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.

“It is unacceptable that, per person, there is less lottery funding going to industrial towns like Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster than to big cities.”