Wednesday, 15 December 2010 11:57

Lottery fund targets communities

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Lottery fund targets communities

A NEW policy direction will see the Big Lottery Fund focus on projects that benefit people and local communities.

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose said funding in England would concentrate on projects that support the voluntary and community sector (VCS).

The move follows recent changes to increase the share of lottery funding going to arts, heritage and sport.

"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," said Mr Penrose.

"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 was for Big Lottery to decide which projects to fund, Mr Penrose said he saw no reason why the direction should inhibit its ability to fund voluntary and community organisations working in consortia with local authorities or parish councils.

The news came as the fund rolled out more than £14.6 million to 49 projects across England through its flagship Reaching Communities programme.

Some 49 organisations will benefit from the money.

The new policy direction applies to England only and does not apply to the devolved administrations. The policy direction should not impact on existing award holders.

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