Big Lottery Fund will explain how and why it solicits bids for money

Chief executive Peter Wanless says the BLF will publish a summary on its website of the process, which has attracted criticism

Peter Wanless
Peter Wanless

The Big Lottery Fund will publish a description of its procedure for making grants to organisations from which it has solicited bids.

The BLF was criticised by two charity chief executives for its practice of soliciting bids for funding rather than going through its usual open application method.

The BLF has made 14 awards totalling £25m to 12 organisations since January 2010 after soliciting the bids.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, told Third Sector the BLF would work on a document explaining how the process works.

"We recognise there is a lack of understanding of this process among the wider sector," he said. "So we will shortly publish on our website an outline of our process and the rationale for soliciting applications." 

Wanless said solicitations accounted for a very small part of the BLF’s funding portfolio – it makes about 14,000 grants a year.  

"Our guidance will put the scale of this into context but ensure that no one can fail to understand it," he said.

There was no definite timescale for when the guidance would be published, he said.

Organisations that have received funding through solicited bids include the Eden Project, which has been given two awards totalling £4.55m, the Big Society Network and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Read Wanless' new blog for Third Sector

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