Funding news

£100 million a year to be invested by BIG - 12 February 2010

Public consultation on future of BIG programmes brings increased funding and streamlined application process.

At least £100 million is to be invested across England by the BIG Lottery Fund in each of the next five years. In response to its major public BIG Thinking consultation last year on the future of BIG programmes, the lottery distributor has made some changes to its flagship ‘Reaching Communities’ scheme. The new funding will be introduced this spring and comes with two distinct improvements.

First, applicants seeking smaller sums of money will enjoy a simpler application and assessment process.

Second, a two-stage decision making process for larger bids will ensure that all applicants will learn sooner whether their project is in with a chance of receiving funding. For those invited to the second stage, the likelihood of success will be much higher, making work on completing a full application more worthwhile.

Also in the pipeline to be launched in the autumn is a dedicated capital funding stream that BIG hopes will help to fill the “large, unmet demand” for funding for community buildings.  This is anticipated to fund medium-sized refurbishment, new builds or extensions to community centres, village halls or other community-use buildings.

In addition, the Big Lottery Fund is promising more informative feedback on all unsuccessful applications.

Over 75 percent of BIG Thinking’s respondents said that it was better to get early decisions on applications, including rejecting those likely to be unsuccessful, based on a few key questions at the enquiry stage.

The main aim of Reaching Communities is to help bring real improvements to communities and to the lives of people most in need. Over 1,400 awards have been made which translates into £336 million Lottery good cause money for communities across England since the first award was announced in 2006.

For more information visit the Reaching Communities website

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