The government has today opened a 12-week consultation on proposed new policy directions for the Big Lottery Fund.
The Big Lottery Fund, which was set up in 2004, is the largest distributor of funding from the National Lottery to good causes and aims to bring real improvements to communities, and to the lives of people most in need.
The consultation invites views from a wide range of stakeholders which include the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and other government departments.
Welcoming the consultation, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said it was about “putting more power in people’s hands, opening up public services and encouraging social action”.
Francis Maude said:
The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is at the heart of this Government’s mission to build a Big Society. The Big Society is about helping people to come together to improve their own lives. It’s about putting more power in people’s hands, opening up public services and encouraging social action.
“The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) plays an important role in supporting our civil society and it is entirely fitting therefore, that policy responsibility for the Big Lottery Fund transferred from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the Cabinet Office. About 28 pence of every pound spent on a lottery ticket goes to good causes and BIG is responsible for distributing 13 pence of this. BLF is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environmental and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. This funding helps communities and people most in need throughout the United Kingdom to improve the quality of their lives by making a difference to the things which matter most to them.
“Too many long and unwieldy restrictions govern how the Big Lottery Fund hands out money, inhibiting their ability to do their job properly. Therefore, in line with the transfer of responsibilities for the Big Lottery Fund, the Cabinet Office will open a 12-week consultation on proposed new policy directions for BLF to try to address this. Please do let us know what you think on the consultation page. This is incredibly important work and we need to make sure it is done in the best way possible.
Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the BIG Lottery Fund, commented:
Now more than ever BIG must be responsive to the evolving needs of the communities we serve. I anticipate that pressure on Lottery budgets will continue to increase and we want to ensure we intelligently address the needs of our communities and those most in need. We very much welcome today’s announcement by the Cabinet Office of its 12-week consultation on proposed new policy directions for the Fund and look forward to the outcome.
The consultation closes at midnight on Friday 18 November 2011.