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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK
Olympic 'threat' to lottery funds
Pete Moorey
Pete Moorey urged MPs to intervene
Arts and voluntary groups have claimed they face funding cuts as more lottery funds are diverted to the Olympics.

The government has said the lottery's contribution to the London 2012 Games would increase by 675m to 2.2bn.

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations is calling on MPs to block plans to divert the extra funds.

But Jonathan Edwards, former Olympian and London 2012 member, said the money spent on the Games was a long-term investment benefiting everyone.

'Deep concern'

Carlo Laurenzi, of the London Wildlife Trust, said the funding shortage threatened future community work and land restoration.

He said: "Many of us are deeply concerned about what's going to happen to lottery funding if the government can dip in and out of it whenever it needs to."

Graham Sheffield, Barbican artistic director, said: "It sets up a kind of oppositional feel between the arts and sport and basically we should all be working together on this."

Pete Moorey, of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, urged MPs to intervene and force a House of Commons debate and vote.

"It's important to remember that this isn't a done deal yet," he said.

"Parliament has to vote on this diversion of further lottery funds.

"It is vital that as many MPs as possible are able to contribute to the debate."

The government said any lottery cuts would be short-term.

Jonathan Edwards said: "The money being spent to host the Games has the possibility to change this country, not just up until 2012 but the for the next 50 years."

London's wildlife trust concerns over funding

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