SPENDING on National Lottery-funded projects shows a huge disparity between Barnsley and other areas of the country - some of which have seen more than 60 times the funding received by the borough this year.

From the start of the year up to July 25, six projects in the Barnsley East constituency garnered funding of £58,065, while in Barnsley Central nine projects were handed a total of £81,171, according to a database available on the National Lottery Community Fund website.

In contrast, the Cities of London and Westminster constituency received £5.5m split across 23 projects.

While projects to have benefited from National Lottery funding in her ward include Rockingham Colliery Cricket Club and Darfield All Saints Church , MP for Barnsley East Stephanie Peacock deemed the funding system ‘clearly unfair’ and said the process should be addressed.

“With hundreds of millions of pounds invested in other areas of the UK, the National Lottery funding system is clearly unfair to people in Barnsley,” said Stephanie.

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“Money made from people playing the lottery here in Barnsley should be invested back into our community, not used to subsidise projects in already affluent cities elsewhere.

“The Labour Party has pledged to make the National Lottery more transparent, and I’ll continue to push the government to make sure money spent in Barnsley benefits Barnsley.”

An Independent House of Commons Library study, ranking National Lottery spending in every one of the country’s 650 constituencies from 2013 to 2018, put Barnsley East at 434th with £4.49m.

Barnsley Central, which has seen such projects as the popular Underneath the Stars Festival, Riding for the Disabled and Barnsley Museums benefit this year, fared slightly better at 409th with £4.9m.

“It is very concerning that projects in Barnsley Central are receiving far less National Lottery funding than similar projects in London,” said its MP, Dan Jarvis.

“For context, Cities of London and Westminster received £5.5 million in the last year 68 times the funding awarded to Barnsley Central.

“While I welcome the funding that has been granted to support important projects; this unacceptable regional disparity between Barnsley and the south needs to be addressed.”

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson last month called for a reform over how National Lottery grants are allocated and how transparent lottery business Camelot is with regards how much is spent on tickets.

A spokesman for the National Lottery Community Fund said that despite constituencies being allocated to provide comparable areas in terms of size, comparing spending in this way is ‘too simplistic’.

The spokesman said: “We’re proud our funding is helping to build stronger, more connected communities in Barnsley and beyond.

“In the last quarter alone, we awarded nearly £142,000 to Barnsley’s community organisations, while the wider Yorkshire and Humber region received more than £7m, shared by more than 320 projects.

“It’s too simplistic, however, to compare awards made in Barnsley to those made in London - you’re not comparing like-with-like and it doesn’t take into account the fact that a large number of UK-wide charities are headquartered in London and the grants made to them actually benefit people and communities all over the country, including Barnsley.

“We’re working closely with our local partners including Barnsley CVS and the South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau to ensure communities across Barnsley can thrive.”