Lord Beith calls for more Lottery funding for region

Lord Beith.
Lord Beith.

Lord Beith used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to call for greater Heritage Lottery funding for the North East.

The former MP for the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency spoke during a debate about National Lottery and related issues.

He is the president of the North of England Civic Trust and president, previously chairman, of the Historic Chapels Trust.

Both these bodies have used Heritage Lottery grants to restore and re-open buildings that would otherwise have been lost to the community.

Following the debate, Lord Beith said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund has sustained and enhanced the character of many of our towns and villages. It has opened people’s eyes to the value of the built heritage and made locations available for community activities.

“It has reached the parts that taxpayer funding would not have reached. It is not there to replace public funding, but to achieve things which would never have survived the budget battles of Whitehall in a time of austerity.

“I hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund will look again at its regional distribution of funds.

“Because budgets are on a per head basis, the North East budget is one of the smallest, but the region has a disproportionately high number of historic buildings and buildings on the at-risk list.”