Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Scotland wins 400m lottery cash

lottery balls
The funding has risen thanks in part to increased ticket sales

The Big Lottery Fund is to invest up to £400m in Scotland over the next five years, it has been announced.

Big said the figure was more than the £300m it had previously estimated it would be able to spend in the country between 2010 and 2015.

It said the additional investment was partly possible because of increased lottery ticket sales.

Some £73m has been cut from Big's budget in Scotland to help pay for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

But Big said increased ticket sales and revised financial forecasting meant it would now be in a position to invest an additional £50m in Scotland over the next financial year, and was working on proposals to target this investment to younger and older people who are most in need.

'Real difference'

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the money could make a "big difference" to Scotland as he addressed 500 delegates at the Big Meet, the Big Lottery Fund's first national grant-holder conference at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow.

He said: "This significant investment can serve as a magnet for transformational change in Scotland if effectively targeted towards those most in need.

"The Scottish government looks forward to working with the Big Lottery Fund on ensuring this resource makes a real difference to Scotland."

Big Lottery Fund Scotland director Dharmendra Kanani said: "Up to £400m over five years is a formidable sum, but poverty and disadvantage can prove immune to cash alone. We will invest in people and their communities to tackle die-hard need and use the opportunity we now have to shift the balance of power back into communities themselves."

The Big Lottery Fund said it had paid out £190m to good causes in Scotland over the past three years.

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