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Lottery support for funded organisations to develop skills and knowledge

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Reaching Communities
Release date:
15 10 2014

From today, applicants to the Big Lottery Fund’s flagship Reaching Communities programme will be offered additional funds to develop their organisation’s knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver more effective and sustainable services.

Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive Dawn Austwick is due to announce the additional funding today at the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action conference in Manchester.

Grant holders have told the Big Lottery Fund that they are often so busy with their day-to-day work that there is little time or money left for developing new skills, knowledge and confidence among staff, management and trustees. The Fund has decided that organisations that apply for funding through the Reaching Communities programme will be offered additional money to enable them to find the time and resources to build their capabilities.

Funding of up to ten percent, to a maximum of £15,000, will be available to carry out a review of their organisation to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Organisations may choose to use the money to build on their assets, others may prefer to address some key weaknesses or develop new skills.

The money will need to be spent by the end of the first year of the funded project. To be eligible, applicants must have been successful at the first stage of the Reaching Communities application process. This pilot initiative will run for two years.

Dawn Austwick said: “We are responding to feedback from our grant holders and offering funds which will be additional to any training, evaluation or overhead costs already included in the Reaching Communities award. We’d like organisations to use the extra money to improve one or two particular aspects of the organisation’s skills and knowledge. The activities this extra money will pay for do not have to be restricted to staff involved in projects we have funded – the money is to build the capabilities of the organisation as a whole and have a lasting impact on the organisation’s work.”


Big Lottery Fund Press Office:       020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact:           07867 500572
Website:                                             www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
                                              @biglotteryfund #BigLottery
Facebook:                                          www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund


Notes to editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery.
  • The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 it has awarded close to £6bn.
  • In the year ending 31 March 2013, 28% of total National Lottery revenue was awarded to projects. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £32 billion has been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded.



  • Voluntary and community sector organisations


  • Education, learning and skills
  • Identifying and meeting need