Success of Harrogate's local lotto to be presented to councillors

The local lotto has raised almost 50,000 for local charities over its first year of existence.
The local lotto has raised almost 50,000 for local charities over its first year of existence.

Harrogate's Local Lotto, the initiative founded to help raise money for charities around the district, has been praised ahead of the first annual report on its progress being presented to councillors.

The performance of the lotto, which has raised nearly £50,000 since it was founded by Harrogate Borough Council last year, will be reviewed by cabinet members for the first time this month.

In a report prepared by council officers ahead of the meeting, it is stated that when the lotto was launched "there was no indication as to how successful it would be".

"The outcomes evidenced over the last 12 months show that it has been received well by the voluntary and community sector across the district," the report says.

Among the statistics are that, after a year, 84 groups have signed up to the lotto, with £49,053 raised through ticket sales in that time.

The initiative has seen £13,265 paid out in winnings, with the highest cash prize won being £2,000, which has been paid out twice.

Of the entries into the project, some 1,826 winners of either a cash prize or three free tickets.

The lotto was launched in July 2018, with Harrogate the first local authority in Yorkshire to start such an initiative.

The report also contains a recommendation that Parent Teacher Associations be able to tap into the lotto fund to help raise funds for their work.

"The local fund would also benefit from this amendment which means even more community groups would benefit in the longer term from the increased income generated," it states.

Of every £1 spent on the lotto, 60p goes to charities, 20p toward prize money, 17p to administrative costs and 3p to VAT.

Earlier this year, council clarified the start-up costs of the initiative following public questioning, with the initial launch fee coming to £3,247 - constituting £3,000 going towards a lottery management company called Gatherwell, £147 on a Gambling Commission licence, and £100 on a promotional banner.

The report adds that apart from the Gambling Commission licence fee at £348 and the membership cost to the Lotteries Council of £375 (both required as part of the licence conditions) there is no other financial commitment to the council.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter