Lord Beith calls for greater funding

Lord Beith, second left, with Lord Steel, right, Lord Shipley, left, and his wife Baroness Maddock.
Lord Beith, second left, with Lord Steel, right, Lord Shipley, left, and his wife Baroness Maddock.

Lord Beith of Berwick upon Tweed used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to call for greater Heritage Lottery funding for the North East.

During last Thursday’s debate, Lord Beith spoke about the impact of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the needs of the region.

Following the debate, he said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund has sustained and enhanced the character of many of our towns and villages. It has opened people’s eyes to the value of the built heritage and has made locations available for community activities. It has reached the parts that taxpayer funding would not have reached. It is not there to replace public funding but to achieve things which would never have survived the budget battles of Whitehall in a time of austerity.

“I hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund will look again at its regional distribution of funds. Because budgets are on a per-head basis, the north-east budget is one of the smallest, but the region has a disproportionately high number of historic buildings and buildings on the at-risk list.”