£10m lottery grant for Scottish infrastructure

The Big Lottery Fund Scotland has approved a grant of £10m to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. It is believed to be the largest single investment ever made in the Scottish voluntary sector.

The money, to be spread over five years, will be used to help Scotland's councils for voluntary service bring about long-term and substantial improvement in the country's voluntary sector infrastructure.

"The role of CVSs is to help people and communities achieve their ambitions and to address their problems through voluntary action," said Martin Sime, chief executive of SCVO. "This hugely significant investment will help CVSs to meet those needs effectively through their own efforts by working in closer partnership with other local and national networks."

The SCVO will work with each CVS to improve its effectiveness and capacity. It will also promote joint working between the CVS network and other voluntary sector networks in Scotland, such as volunteer centres and Citizen's Advice Scotland.

Alison Magee is chair of Big Lottery Fund Scotland, which solicited the SCVO application last November. She said: "We believe that the time is right for the CVS Network to take its rightful place as a champion for community change. We want to support the building of an infrastructure that supports voluntary action and creates the right conditions for it to develop."

Further consultation on the details of the measures will take place over the next six months.

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