Press release

Big Lottery Fund Chair and England Committee Chair appointed

Francis Maude has announced that Peter Ainsworth will be the UK Chair of the Big Lottery Fund and Nat Sloane the England Committee Chair.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

16 May 2011

Minister for Cabinet Office Francis Maude has today announced that Peter Ainsworth will be the UK Chair of the Big Lottery Fund and Nat Sloane will be the England Committee Chair.

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest single funder of the voluntary and community sector having made grants of nearly £2 billion to the sector since June 2004.  It makes well over 10,000 awards a year to grassroots groups throughout the UK as well as supporting larger, more transformational awards to the Voluntary and Community Sector. 

The Big Lottery Fund is central to a building a strong and effective civil society and plays a key role in the Government’s Big Society ambitions, where people have a greater role in the things that directly affect them, and where everyone is encouraged to contribute and to give something back for the benefit of all. A close working relationship with the Voluntary and Community sector, who are uniquely placed to articulate the requirements and priorities for communities, is critical to success.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office said:

I am pleased to welcome Peter Ainsworth as the UK Chair of the Big Lottery Fund and Nat Sloane as the England Committee Chair. It’s vital that every penny of the annual £600 million or so of funding for good causes is used for the greatest impact. The wealth of knowledge and experience Peter and Nat bring will help greatly in meeting this challenge.

The Big Lottery Fund Board is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Fund, and as UK Chair, Peter Ainsworth will have overall responsibility for the performance of the Board which will include working closely with the Chief Executive, Executive Team and Devolved Administrations to evolve the strategic direction of the Fund and ensure delivery of the Fund’s goals. Peter’s extensive experience in business, public service and his range of charitable interests make him a real asset for this appointment.

As the England Committee Chair Nat Sloane will take the lead on developing and delivering funding programmes that make a distinct contribution to the Big Lottery Fund’s mission in England. Nat Sloane will work closely with Peter Ainsworth and other Board colleagues, including country chairs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to achieve this. Nat’s entrepreneurial background and extensive board-level experience in the private and voluntary sector is perfect for his new role at the Fund.

Notes to Editors

  1. Peter Ainsworth is an Environmental Consultant and a founder member of the Robertsbridge Group. He was previously a Director of Corporate Finance in a major Investment Bank. He has a 25 year record of commitment to public life having served at senior levels both as a Local Councillor and as a Member of Parliament in government and opposition. Peter is currently chairman of two national charities, Plantlife International, and the Elgar Foundation. He is also a member of the Property Advisory Board of Quintain Estates plc. Peter Ainsworth does not hold any other Ministerial appointments.
  2. Nat Sloane is an experienced funder.  He was the co-founder and is now Vice Chair of Impetus Trust, the first venture philanthropy trust fund in the UK. Nathaniel Sloane is also an Independent member of the Bridges Social Enterprise Fund’s Investment Committee, and has advisory board membership for Social Finance Impact Bond, European Venture Philanthropy Association Knowledge Centre and Liveryman for the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants.  He has also been vice chair of Crime Concern. Nat Sloane does not hold any other Ministerial appointments.
  3. These appointments have been made in accordance with The Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations there is a requirement for appointee’ political activity (if any declared) to made public. Peter Ainsworth was a Member of Parliament (Con) for East Surrey from 1992 - 2010.  Nat Sloane has declared no political activity.
  4. The UK Chair appointment is for a 4-year term, beginning on the 1st June 2011.  The time commitment is expected to be an average of 6 days per month. The Chair remuneration £21,600 per annum.  Mr Ainsworth replaces Sir Clive Booth whose term of office expired last November.  Anna Southall has been acting as Interim Chair since then.
  5. The England Committee Chair is for a 4-year term beginning on the 1st June 2011 The time commitment is expected to be between 6-8 days per month. The England Chair remuneration is £18,000- £24,000 per annum   Mr Sloane replaces Sanjay Dighe who served as England Chair for 4 years.
  6. BIG is the largest single funder of the voluntary and community sector having made grants of nearly £2 billion to the sector since June 2004. This is  80% of the grants made by BIG overall. In the financial year 2009/10, 92% of BIG’s funding went to the VCS. The England Committee is responsible for the distribution of around 70% of the Lottery funds available to BIG.  Provided ticket sales hold up, the Fund expects to make awards of between £500-600 million into the future.
  7. Further information about the Fund’s programmes and its strategic framework for  2009-2015 can be found at:
Published 16 May 2011