Big Lottery Fund to offer an extra £50m to voluntary organisations

An increase in lottery ticket sales means the Big Lottery Fund can offer hundreds of extra grants

Dharmendra Kanani, the BLF’s England director
Dharmendra Kanani, the BLF’s England director

The Big Lottery Fund has announced that it is to award an extra £50m to voluntary organisations in the current financial year.

The BLF, which is the voluntary sector’s largest grant-maker, is increasing the annual budgets for its Reaching Communities and Awards for All programmes by £12m and £5m respectively.

It will also provide more than 900 grants of up to £10,000 to existing grant holders before the end of the current financial year.

Dharmendra Kanani, the BLF’s England director, said the £50m had been funded by increasing lottery ticket sales and "our flexible approach to funding".

He added: "Over the past 12 months we have been monitoring the impact of cuts on the voluntary and community sector and thinking about what response we could make.

"With intelligent planning of our budget we have the flexibility to pull together £50m and it doesn’t destabilise what we are planning to do or alter our future commitments." 

The extra £17m to Reaching Communities and Awards for All will fund 650 charity projects.

Kanani said the BLF would write to existing grant-holders in the final 18 months of their projects explaining the eligibility criteria to receive new grants.

"This is for people already in the funding pipeline," he added.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said the funding would provide "some welcome relief for the sector during these challenging times".

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