Big Lottery Fund agrees to pay infrastructure costs

Mathew Little

Grants from the new Big Lottery Fund will cover charities' core costs, it was announced last week.

The fund said the principle of paying overhead costs as well as project costs would be adopted following the results of a consultation conducted with the sector.

It also allayed concerns among charities by confirming that it will continue the international grants programme pioneered by the Community Fund.

And it promised more flexibility in the length of grants, with some larger grants now covering a period of 10 years.

Two operational centres will be established in Newcastle and Birmingham, with more emphasis on policy development, partnerships and external relations.

Fund chairman Sir Clive Booth said: "In March and May we will consider in more detail how our funding schemes will be designed, taking account of the outcomes in the phase-two consultation, which will be published in May." New schemes will start in the summer.

A third of the fund's income will be distributed through "demand-led, lightly prescribed" programmes subject to government-set priorities and outcomes.

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