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Fears for heritage lottery funding escalate

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Fears are growing that the London 2012 Olympic Games could slash the amount of money heritage projects receive from National Lottery coffers.

Last week the government began consulting on how lottery funding should be allocated from 2009 with each of the three 'good causes' - arts and film, sports and heritage - having to compete to get their share.

However, according to the charity Heritage Link, the Consultation Paper comes down in favour of sports projects and those linked to the forthcoming Olympics.

A spokesman said: '[The] paper makes out a stronger and possibly more popular case for sport, art and film, than it does for heritage.

'Bearing in mind the skimming of lottery funding for the London Olympics and the rising star of everything related to sport, heritage needs to fight its corner.'

The charity has also issued a call to arms to all 81 of its members to respond to the government and has warned the outcome of the consultation could be 'fundamental to the future' of the country's national heritage.

The spokesman added: 'Over the last 11 years, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded over £3 billion to projects that have openend up the nation's heritage for everyone to enjoy.

'Without its billions, we and future generations would be culturally impoverished.'

Full details of the consultation process can be found at www.lottery2009.culture.gov.uk

by Richard Waite

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