Big Lottery Fund grants £67m to advice charities

Money from the Advice Services Transition Fund is intended to help such charities adapt to more difficult economic conditions

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded 226 grants worth a total of £67m to charities that provide advice services in England.

The funding comes from the Advice Services Transition Fund, which was launched in October to help charities that provide advice services to adapt to a tougher funding environment.

Grants have been awarded to partnerships to improve local services that provide free advice on topics such as welfare benefits, debt, housing and employment.

The fund, half of which comes from the Cabinet Office, has awarded grants of between £50,000 and £350,000 over two years. It was originally a £65m fund, but the BLF added a further £2m.

Leeds, Haringey, Blackpool and Birmingham Citizens Advice bureaux were among the organisations to receive the maximum £350,000.

Dharmendra Kanani, director of the Big Lottery Fund in England, said: "Current services are struggling to keep up with increasing demand and the greater complexity in the types of problems people are facing.

"This timely funding demonstrates the enormous value that BLF can bring by offering support to help local partnerships of advice providers to come together to develop new ways of working fit for the 21st century," he said.

"Times are tough for advice providers and for people at the thin end of the wedge. This is a chance to invest in a much-needed transformation of services so that they can adapt, respond to need and survive."

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said: "At a time of great change, it is important that people can continue to access high quality local advice. This partnership fund is designed to help local providers come together and deliver a more coordinated and sustainable service."

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