Ground breaking community lottery plans move a step closer

Councillors at West Devon Borough Council are to discuss proposals to set up a local community lottery scheme, which could raise up to £100,000 per year for local good causes.

If approved, the community lottery would be shared across both West Devon Borough Council and South Hams District Council areas in order to reach the widest possible audience and participating good causes.

Players could win a jackpot of up to £25,000.

Cllr Neil Jory, Lead Member for Environment and Assets at West Devon Borough Council said: "This exciting scheme could potentially increase the amount of support we are able to provide for local good causes, at a time when most councils will be looking to reduce their spending. It meets our shared objective with South Hams of empowering our residents to create stronger communities".

The planned lottery would operate in a similar way to the National Lottery or Health Lottery, however all funds raised will be spent in the West Devon and South Hams areas. In addition, 50% of the ticket sales would go directly to the good cause, with customers able to choose a specific cause to support if they wish. By contrast, the National Lottery only gives 28% of the price of a ticket to good causes.

Many of the good causes currently supported by the councils operate in both areas, and provide direct and measurable benefits to residents, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Ring and Ride services operating in Tavistock and in Ivybridge.

A similar scheme run by Aylesbury Vale District Council raised a gross annual income last year of over £129,000. Other councils that have recently launched their own community lotteries include Torbay, Wycombe District Council and Portsmouth Council.

The proposal is due to go before West Devon Council on the 5 December. If successful, the lottery could be holding its first draw in early 2018.