European match-funding plan could yield £500m for sector

Dawn Austwick of the Big Lottery Fund
Dawn Austwick of the Big Lottery Fund

More than £500m will be available to voluntary organisations if talks between the Big Lottery Fund and the European Commission about a match-funding scheme come to fruition, according to Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the BLF.

Speaking at the annual conference of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in London in June, Austwick said the BLF planned to match more than £260m of lottery funding with money from Europe in order to boost funding opportunities for projects that address poverty and social inclusion.

The European Structural and Investment Fund package for 2014 to 2020 is due to be approved by the European Commission later this year.

More than £260m of lottery funding for England and a similar amount from the ESIF would then be channelled into projects that help to improve skills, employability and education opportunities in disadvantaged communities.

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