Jackpot time as universities collect their lottery windfalls

April 24, 1998

The National Lottery has made awards worth Pounds 76 million to higher education projects. The THES lists winners to date, examines how grants have been won and looks at the overseas experience

Universities have received Pounds 76 million worth of grants through the National Lottery, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In all, about 90 awards have been made by bodies such as the English Sports Council, Arts Council for England, Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lotteries Charity Board. The sums awarded range widely.

Cambridge University was granted Pounds 13 million last April by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help it secure a collection of Winston Churchill's pre-1945 papers. At the other end of the scale, there is the Pounds 7,850 awarded recently to the University of Sussex for the purchase of the papers of Rudyard Kipling.

Both this government and the previous one have stated that lottery awards are not meant to make up any shortfall in central government spending. All awards are made on the basis that the recipient secures matching funds and that the project benefit the community, with arrangements made for public access.

Cambridge's award, for example, led to the creation of a charitable trust to hold the Churchill papers. The trust received a matching gift from Churchill College in the form of Churchill's post-1945 papers. There was also a donation of Pounds 1 million from KBE Foundation, established by millionaire philanthropist Paul Getty. The lottery grant includes Pounds 1 million towards the long-term conservation of the papers and Pounds 750,000 towards electronic cataloguing and public exhibition.

The University of Wales Lampeter has been granted Pounds 10,000 by the Arts Council of Wales for the renovation of an organ and grand piano. The organ is used by Lampeter's chapel, where all services are open to the public. The 25-year-old piano is used by students for college functions and by outside organisations. Lampeter's registrar, Alasdair Kenwright, said the lottery grant is being matched by funds from the college's resources and charitable trusts, including the Davies Foundation and the Foundation for Sports and Arts.

Sport is well represented among the awards. Liverpool University has been granted Pounds 4.5 million by the English Sports Council to support the cost of a Pounds 6 million sports and events centre. The largest of its kind in the north-west, the centre will seat 3,000 and be used by the local community and by students of the university and City of Liverpool Community College. The university is stumping up Pounds 1 million, and the community college is providing Pounds 500,000.

Liverpool University has also been granted Pounds 85,500 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to buy an archive of manuscripts and proofs of published and unpublished works left by science fiction writer John Wyndham. Andy Sawyer of the university's Science Fiction Foundation Collection said that matching funds of about Pounds 80,000 are needed and that some cash has already been pledged by university fundraising groups and the science fiction community.

There have also been lottery grants for medical research. The Leukaemia Research Fund has been awarded Pounds 90,465 by the National Lotteries Charities Board towards research at Bristol University to develop more effective bone-marrow transplant methods. Matching funds are being provided by the National Blood Authority.

The culture department said that Pounds 4.9 billion has been raised by the lottery for the arts, sport, heritage, caring charities and schemes to mark the millennium. So far, 38,000 projects have been supported with Pounds 4.76 billion. Millennium schemes have won the most, Pounds 1.28 billion, followed by the arts, (Pounds 1.1 billion), heritage (Pounds 890 million) and sport (Pounds 800 million).

Caring charities such as the Samaritans, Age Concern and Barnados have secured Pounds 680 million. Other sectors receiving awards include schools (Pounds 124 million); disabled people (Pounds 83.4 million) and schemes to improve the environment (Pounds 450 million).

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