2012 Funding Should Not Be a Lottery

from Hackney Gazette, 25 January 2007

As a Hackney resident and somebody who works for a Lottery-funded project in Islington, I read last week’s Gazette article, “Groups fear Olympics shortfall will rob them of vital funds” with some degree of alarm.

I think Liz Hughes was absolutley right to ask the question about what exactly “…the legacy will be and how it will make up for all the projects which lose out”.

All the government spokesperson could come up wih in reply were soundbites about “benefits” outstripping “losses” and that the Olympics would “transform society” and “improve millions of lives”.

Your readers might like to ask themselves how will this extremely grand ambition be achieved in 2012 and beyond – given that no Olympics before has ever managed to do it.

The only “legacy” I can see from previous Olympics is a few impressive-looking (and under-used) buildings and some luxury housing developments that have taken over the athletes’ village after the Games have finished.

Finally, how is it that small community projects like the one I work for and the ones mentioned in the article (who do extremely valuable work with local communities day in and day out) have to say precisely what we will do and what the outcomes of this will be to get a few thousand pounds of funding from the Lottery when the Olympics is set to get billions of pounds on the basis of some vague aspirations that will never ever materialise?

Bob Taylor
Stamford Hill