The Art Fund condemns Olympics raid on Lottery funds
- 19 March 2007
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.