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BIG builds on Reaching Communities

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Reaching Communities
Release date:
26 10 2010

The BIG Lottery Fund is investing an additional £75 million specifically for rural and urban community-use buildings through its flagship programme, Reaching Communities.

From early December, voluntary and community sector organisations and parish and town councils across England will be able to apply for capital funding from BIG of between £100,000 to £500,000.

The money will be available for all types of multi-purpose buildings used by communities including memorial halls, community centres and village halls.  Each project should have a total value of no more than £750,000. The new funding stream has been designed with a view to transforming current buildings into community buildings which can offer a wide range of activities benefitting a broad group of citizens.

Sanjay Dighe, Chair of Big Lottery Fund’s England Committee said: “This gives rural and urban communities the opportunity to revamp and update buildings and – consistent with its mission - BIG will be directing funding towards communities most in need.

“Earlier this year BIG announced its plans to provide a dedicated stream of capital funding within Reaching Communities. Consultation told us how popular this funding would be. Given the economic climate, we anticipate even greater demand for this money.  Competition will be intense and tough choices required.

“We strongly believe that it is fairer to applicants to be upfront about their chances and manage demand carefully so that BIG invests more of its money into grants rather than the bureaucracy associated with administering large volumes of applications. We also want to minimise the risk of organisations spending time and effort developing bids that stand little chance of success. Full details about eligibility will follow which will ensure there is a fair balance between rural and urban areas.  An online support checker will enable projects to assess their eligibility at a glance, before submitting an outline proposal.”

Applications will be assessed on a monthly rolling basis taking the pressure off applicants having to rush through an outline proposal. Organisations can register for further information by calling 0845 4 10 20 30.

Reaching Communities aims to help bring real improvements to communities and to the lives of people most in need. Close to 2,000 awards have been made which translates into over £455 million in Lottery good cause funding for communities across England since the first award was announced in 2006.

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 0845 4 10 20 30
Textphone:  0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG 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, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £25 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.