The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder in the UK, distributing 40% of Lottery income each year to tackle advantage and improve lives throughout the UK.

As all Lottery distributors are public bodies they are answerable to Parliament for how they distribute public money. The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) is required to distribute all of its Lottery income to charitable causes or for projects connected with health, education or the environment

The existing policy directions for the Fund’s distribution of money in England and for UK-wide programmes were last revised in 2012. Since then there has been a change of Government as well as the publication of the Big Lottery Fund’s new Strategic Framework, following on from its own public consultation in 2014.

The key principles of the new policy directions include:

  • A renewed focus of local engagement, which means “engaging people and local civil society organisations in how funding is used in their communities, enabling and catalysing local partnerships and collaborations between communities, public, private and civil society organisations”.
  • A new focus on variety and innovation, which means “distributing funds to a wide spread of projects, primarily those delivered by civil society organisations, in particular small and medium sized charities, or the organisations that support them, backing new and innovative approaches and organisations, as well as tried and tested models”.
  • Explicit policy directions for distribution to the UK-wide funding portfolio, which are not applicable to the England funding portfolio. These include the desirability of supporting projects across the UK which have a focus on learning, growing or bringing people and communities together.
  • The focus, when funding UK-based organisations to provide benefit outside the UK and Isle of Man, should be on the “exchange and interchange of best practices and new approaches, and should prioritise the involvement of communities and civil society organisations”.

The deadline for responses is 12 August 2016.

After all the responses have been considered, the Government will consult the Fund again on how best to amend the directions, before issuing a final version to the Fund in Autumn 2016.

The consultation document can be found on the GOV.UK website