Strong reactions to new Big Lottery Fund funding strategy

Navca, the NCVO and the Directory of Social Change say all its grants should go to voluntary organisations

Voluntary sector leaders have criticised the Big Lottery Fund's announcement that 80 per cent of its funding will go to  voluntary organisations, calling for the funder to increase the figure to 100 per cent.

The BLF announced today that it would increase the figure from the current level of between 60 and 70 per cent as it set out its funding strategy for the next six years.

Kevin Curley, chief executive of local umbrella body Navca, said: "The local third sector is being challenged by a reduction in local authority grants and a difficult environment in which to fundraise, so I would have liked the Big Lottery Fund to announce 100 per cent of its funding will go to the sector."

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of umbrella body the NCVO, said he welcomed the extra funding but the NCVO would continue to campaign for all of the money to go directly to the voluntary and community sector.

Ben Wittenberg, director of policy and research at sector training and publishing organisation the Directory of Social Change, said: "Since money was taken from the Big Lottery Fund for the 2012 Olympics, voluntary and community groups will receive 80 per cent of a smaller pot. I would have liked to see 100 per cent, but this is better than no change at all.

"The Big Lottery Fund is looking to consolidate its position as a good funder. It's already had its pocket picked by the Government, and the Tories have said they would scrap it, so this is a reflection of the pressure the fund is under."

But Ralph Michell, head of policy at chief executives body Acevo, said the Big Lottery Fund had got it right. "The sector is going through a difficult time and it needs all the help it can get. We welcome the increase, and now is not the time to be pernickety about the percentage."

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