Lottery body would benefit children

6th December 1996 at 00:00
A Labour government would establish another "good cause" from the National Lottery for children and young people when the Millennium Commission is wound up.

Children should be permanently designated as a good cause, says the report of an advisory group set up last February by Jack Cunningham, Shadow Heritage Secretary.

The "New Millennium Commission" would establish an "ideas bank". Children's play would be a direct, permanent beneficiary, and there would be funding for a range of youth projects, such as a young ambassador exchange scheme, children's information technology cafes and after-school clubs.

The commission would provide a more strategic and innovative distribution of lottery money, says the report, but emphasises that the good causes and projects must not replace those already funded by core government funds.

Cash-limited, time-limited schemes would also be introduced to provide IT training for teachers, new technology for public libraries, energy efficiency schemes or environmental initiatives.

At the suggestion of Sir David Puttnam, the film producer, who is a member of the group, Labour would start a national endowment for the arts, humanities and science.

Three to five years of lottery funds would establish the endowment, which would be self-financing like any charitable foundation.

This scheme would promote new thinking and activity that could make a big difference to the quality of life in Britain, says the report.

"Be they Nobel prize winners or Olympic champions, the British people could take pride from the fact they helped these individuals to get there," the report says. "By investing in human potential, promoting intellectual and creative endeavour and encouraging access and participation, much energy and talent can be used that would otherwise be wasted."

This approach would not encourage institutional funding nor create a dependent culture, the report argues, but would improve the quality of life.

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