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About the Big Lottery Fund

Our history and what we do
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The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for distributing 40 per cent of all funds raised for good causes (about 11 pence of every pound spent on a Lottery ticket) by the National Lottery - around £670 million last year.

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £9 billion to projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Our funding supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities. We deliver funding throughout the UK, mostly through programmes tailored specifically to the needs of communities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as well as some programmes that cover the whole UK.


10 Big Lottery Fund facts

Find out more about our work across the countries.

We also distribute non-Lottery funding on behalf of public bodies such as the Department for Education and the Office for Civil Society. Find out more about the non-Lottery funding operation of the Big Lottery Fund

We are a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture media and Sport (DCMS).


Big Lottery Fund’s accountability to Parliament, the devolved legislatures and government

The Big Lottery Fund was created by the National Lottery Act 2006, which set out the main rules under which we operate.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is accountable for the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF) and issues financial and accounts directions to us in relation to our functions under the National Lottery Acts. These directions regulate our systems and processes.

As of 18 July 2016, the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary will also issue our policy directions, which we must take into account when distributing pan-UK and England wide funding.

The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also issue policy directions relating to funds distributed in each country.

Within this framework, we make independent decisions on what programmes we should run and on what grants we should make.

Our Board and Committees

We are governed by a Board comprising the Chair, the four chairs of the country committees and up to seven other members.

Each country has a committee responsible for the funding programmes in their country; the Board has also appointed a committee for UK-wide funding.

The Board sets the Fund’s strategic framework, and the committees, working within this framework, have delegated authority to determine the programmes in their countries. They also make grant decisions, or agree the delegated arrangements for making them, within these programmes.

All Board members are appointed by the Minister for the Cabinet Office. Members of country committees are appointed by us. The Devolved Administrations are fully involved in the appointments relating to their countries.

All Board and committee members are appointed following an open process of advertisement and selection.