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Lords debates the contribution of the National Lottery on its 21st birthday

Members of the House of Lords including two former Paralympians will take the opportunity of the 21st birthday of the National Lottery to debate its contribution to sport, culture, charities and national heritage in the UK, on Thursday 17 December.

The debate was tabled by former Paralympic swimmer Lord Holmes of Richmond who, speaking ahead of the debate he will open, said:

"The 21st birthday of the National Lottery provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the transformational change it has brought to the UK. Whether through sports, culture or heritage, National Lottery funding is a fantastic example of how one person's drive and ambition can make a difference to so many. The National Lottery is one of Sir John Major's clear achievements and an incredible legacy.

"I will be speaking in this debate both as a previous National Lottery funding recipient, as well as an administrator of lottery funding. I am fully aware of the positive impact these grants can have and grateful to have this opportunity to celebrate the difference the National Lottery can make to people's lives.

"On Sunday as the country votes for Sports Personality of the Year and we have a chance to consider the incredible sporting achievements of those individuals it is interesting to think what that list would look like without the National Lottery. Just one, excellent, example of the power of the National Lottery.

"However, as we celebrate this milestone for the National Lottery, we need to be cautious of a worrying increase in alternative lotteries. These smaller interlopers do not contribute to our sport, culture or heritage in the way the National Lottery does, and I will be interested to hear the Government's views on them, and if they believe action is necessary to protect the excellent contribution the National Lottery makes to British life."

Other Members scheduled to speak include:

Lord Beith and the Duke of Wellington are expected to make their maiden speeches during the debate.

Lord True, Viscount Falkland, the Bishop of Chester, Baroness Pitkeathley and Lord Giddens, are also expected to take part.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe will respond on behalf of the Government.

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