Lottery fund invites sector's views on priorities for game-affected funding

The Big Lottery Fund is to launch a consultation with the third sector next year to identify what its funding priorities should be from 2009, when normal funding will be affected by the lottery's contribution to funding the London 2012 Olympics.

New programmes will start in 2009 and run until 2012, coinciding with the fund's transfer of £425m to the games.

Speaking at a conference run by independent information source Lottery Monitor last week, Sir Clive Booth, chair of the BLF, said the diversion of lottery money to the Olympics would have a significant impact in 2009 and the four following years.

"Nobody at the fund underestimates the task ahead," he said. "You can't take funding away and not expect to feel it. We will have to make our money go further and make some tough decisions."

At the same event, Stephen Dunmore, outgoing chief executive of the BLF, reiterated his belief that the fund should be interested in "outcomes, not sectors".

Mubeen Bhutta, policy officer at the NCVO, raised questions about what sort of organisations would be funded in the 2009 round. "On one hand, it's good that the BLF is committing to pre-raid levels of money," she said. "But additionality is to do with what is being funded rather than who is funded, so the new programmes may be more tightly prescribed along the lines of health, education and the environment than the current ones."

Bhutta said demand-led funding, such as Reaching Communities, was always going to be popular, but it was not known whether this would continue.

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