BRITAIN’S INDUSTRIAL COMMUNITIES FORGOTTEN BY LOTTERY FUNDING

Aberavon AM and Chair of the Cross party Group on Industrial Communities, David Rees, will be raising the issue of lottery funding in the Senedd on Wednesday (20th June) as new research comes to light showing that people in industrial communities are awarded significantly less per head than their counterparts in cities.

Analysis presented in the report ‘The Postcode Lottery’, by the Industrial Communities Alliance, shows that Britain’s Industrial areas only receive about 60% of the national average funding per head. Over the same period, per capita funding to the big cities was two and a half times higher that funding to industrial areas. This means that since the lottery began, the cumulative loss of funding to Britain’s industrial communities has been around £3 billion.

David Rees AM said:
“In Neath Port Talbot, between 1995 -2011, the value of lottery awards per head has been just over £200. Whilst this funding has had a positive impact, when you consider that a city, such as Newcastle, has been awarded over £1200 per head it becomes very clear that there is a massive cumulative loss of funding to older industrial areas.”

“In the current climate, welfare reforms alongside brutal cuts mean that sources of much needed funding or assistance are being reduced or diminished. Lottery funding could be away that many of our most vulnerable communities could provide much needed services. Unfortunately, some of our most vulnerable communities are being forgotten as money has gone to art galleries, museums, opera houses and other prestige projects, mostly in big cities. The poor have suffered tremendously from the financial disasters of recent years and we must do all we can to ensure that this suffering is not compounded by systematic failures such as this.”

The Cross Party Group on Industrial Communities is a non-partisan forum for ideas that will lead to practical policies in order to help tackle the wide range of issues faced by industrial communities in today’s Wales.