Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 10:21 GMT
More lottery cash for grassroots
The National Lottery is five years old and has raised £7 billion
Greater amounts of National Lottery money are being given to small groups, according to the Culture Secretary Chris Smith.
He says a reform of the way lottery grants are distributed means more grass-roots projects are receiving grants.
The government has released the figures to mark the fifth anniversary of the first National Lottery draw.
Mr Smith says the proportion of lottery grants awarded, which were less than £100,000, had jumped from 9% to 17%.
This is a direct result, he says, of new guidelines sent to lottery money distributors in August last year.
Another boost for small groups is the introduction of the Awards for All scheme, which helps groups gain lottery funding.
London tops cash list
Mr Smith said: "It is vitally important that all parts of the country share in the benefits the lottery can provide.
"The National Lottery should offer something for everyone wherever they live, whoever they are.
"Small amounts of money can often make a real difference to life in communities up and down the country."
Since the launch of the National Lottery on November 19, 1994, a total of £7 billion has been paid out to good causes, both large and small.
Government figures also show that London continues to win in the regional battle for funding.