Lottery Relief for Communities!!!

November 25, 2015

victory picThe government will not cut funding to the Big Lottery Fund, in a move hailed as a “major win” for the voluntary sector.

Prime Minister David Cameron was the first to announce the decision during Question Time, and this was followed by George Osborne’s spending review announcement.

The Chancellor announced grants for science, sports and the arts and said: “All of this can be achieved without raiding the Big Lottery Fund as some feared. It will continue to support the work of hundreds of small charities across Britain.”

A Big Lottery Fund spokeswoman said: “After recent uncertainty we are pleased there is no change to the distribution of funds raised by the National Lottery. We look forward to continuing our work supporting thousands of projects every year across the UK.”

The Big Lottery Fund was formed in 2004 by the merger of two National Lottery distributers. Since June 2004 it has awarded more than £9bn to a community projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Dan Corry, chief executive of New Philanthropy Capital, said the safe-guarding of BIG represented a “major win” for the voluntary sector:

“The protection of the Big Lottery is a major win for the voluntary sector, and a welcome sign of what organisations big and small can do when working together,” he said. “As well as helping small charities who rely on money from BIG, the Chancellor has made a smart political choice.

“All those thousands of small charities have MPs to whom they can complain, many of whom would have taken it up with ministers. The Treasury may have saved itself a headache.”

Fears that the spending review would see severe cuts to the Big Lottery Fund – which could have represented cuts of £320m per year – first emerged earlier this month from an anonymous campaign group.

The group’s campaign saw both NCVO and Acevo call on the government for “urgent clarification” over the rumoured cuts.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy at NCVO said: “All the intelligence we were receiving showed that there was a real danger of cuts to Big Lottery Fund spending.

“So we want to say a big thank you to all the small charities who lobbied their local MPs to ensure this cut didn’t happen. It’s also good to see that funding for arts and sports were not cut, even though BIG wasn’t raided.”

Shadow minister for civil society Anna Turley said it was “great news” for the Big Lottery Fund.

“This is great news and down to the excellent pressure from the sector speaking against the reported cuts and the Westminster Hall debate yesterday which highlighted the good work charities are doing across the country,” she said.

“I know it will be a massive relief to many organisations who rely on Big Lottery grants to support their vital work. I am pleased the government have seen sense and promised to protect this important source of funding.”


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