The Art Fund condemns Olympics raid on Lottery funds

The budget for the 2012 London Olympics has trebled in the past twelve months. Last week, after much speculation, Tessa Jowell admitted that the predicted costs could total £9.3bn.

To the disappointment of The Art Fund and Arts organisations across the country, it was revealed that much of the shortfall will be funded through a further £675m from the National Lottery, taking its contribution to the 2012 Olympics to £2.2bn.

As Art Fund Director David Barrie commented, ‘The Art Fund is dismayed to learn that once again National Lottery good causes are to be raided – to the tune of £250 million - to meet the spiralling costs of the 2012 Olympics. This is on top of a further £410 million already allocated.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has told us that they expect to miss out on £90 million, which means there will be significantly less money for our museums and galleries. This is particularly alarming in view of the threatened cuts in the forthcoming spending round. Such a short-sighted raid is likely to undermine a decent cultural legacy from the Olympics, and makes the Prime Minister’s celebration of a ‘Golden Age’ for the arts ring very hollow.’

The Art Fund will continue to seek assurance that there will be no further raid on the Lottery.

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