Projects that benefit local communities and the voluntary sector in England have received a boost, after a new policy direction was issued by Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose to the Big Lottery Fund today.
The direction requires the Big Lottery Fund to focus its funding in England on projects that support the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and follows the recent changes to increase the share of lottery funding going to arts, heritage and sport.
John Penrose said:
“Protecting lottery funding for these types of projects is an important way of building and maintaining the kind of voluntary and community action that is an integral part of the Big Society. Along with the recent share change it also marks a return to the lottery’s original good causes, ensuring projects that would otherwise not have been possible can go ahead with the help of a lottery grant. The Big Lottery Fund have already done great work in raising the amount of money that goes to this particular sector and I hope that this will now increase even further.”
While it is for Big Lottery Fund, to decide which projects to fund, John Penrose has made clear he sees no reason why the direction should inhibit its ability to fund charities, voluntary groups, social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations working in consortia with local authorities, veterans, parish councils or community projects in schools. The direction applies to England only and does not apply to the devolved administrations.
Notes to Editors
John Penrose has issued the policy direction under Section 36E of the National Lottery Act 1993, requiring the Big Lottery Fund to take into account the need to ensure that, in England, money is distributed to projects that benefit people and local communities served by the voluntary and community sector.
Issuing the policy direction meets the commitment in the DCMS Structural Reform Plan that the Big Lottery Fund is reformed so that only voluntary and community sector projects are funded.
The policy direction should not impact on existing award holders.
Responses to a public consultation on this matter have been published and can be found on the DCMS website.
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