Big Lottery Fund to launch £200m fund for community groups

Money will go to groups that have been overlooked before, says chief executive Peter Wanless

The Big Lottery Fund will launch a new £200m grant fund for neighbourhood-based community groups.

The fund, called Big Local, will award grants to voluntary groups in 50 geographical areas, which will be announced later this month.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the BLF, announced the new fund at the Charity Funding and the New Government conference in Westminster yesterday. He said the organisation would set up a new charitable trust to distribute the funds, and would look for partners to help run it.

The money would go to groups that had been overlooked for funding in the past and that involved local residents in decision-making, he said.

Asked for more details about the fund, a BLF spokeswoman said the organisation was not ready to make detailed announcements about it.

Speaking at the conference, Wanless also said he would meet Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, to discuss the government’s plan to reduce the BLF’s share of lottery good cause funding from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.

He urged charities to respond to the government’s consultation on the issue, which closes on 21 August.

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