'More public say in lottery spending'

Call by respondents to BLF's Big Thinking open consultation

More public say in how lottery cash is spent and more flexible funding arrangements were among the proposals receiving support in the Big Lottery Fund's consultation on its funding priorities to 2015.

The Big Thinking consultation, which closed last week, generated more than 3,000 responses, which will be considered before the BLF outlines its spending plans this summer.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the fund, said the consultation events he had attended revealed support for more flexible programmes that were responsive to local needs. There was backing for extending initiatives such as The People's Millions, the ITV show in which people vote to decide which projects get funding, he said, but such programmes needed to be handled in a sensitive way to prevent populist causes getting all the money.

Wanless said that respondents to the consultation suggested the BLF could issue loans to organisations that wanted to replicate innovative lottery-funded projects.

The BLF had suggested it would consider making loans to organisations in future (Third Sector Online, 17 September). "There was recognition that grants are what makes the lottery distinct," Wanless said.

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