Big Lottery Fund Announces £45 Million in Funding for Community Projects
Last Updated: Tuesday 7th May 2019, 12:08
Communities across England are celebrating this week after the Big Lottery Fund announced that £45 million in funding will be awarded to projects and organisations across the country. The money comes from the revenue generated by the sale of lottery tickets, so every player of a National Lottery game in the UK has contributed.
Supporting Communities Across the Country
The funding will benefit projects and organisations around the country, from recycling centres to social groups for the elderly. The Wave Project, which helps to improve mental and physical health through surfing, will receive £148,000 "to deliver a programme of surfing and peer-mentoring, where young people learn to surf through support and guidance from local mentors and professional instructors before becoming mentors themselves."
Joe Taylor, CEO of the Dorset-based organisation, said: "This funding is fantastic news for The Wave Project. This money will enable us to plan ahead, secure in the knowledge that we will be able to provide our much needed Surf Therapy programme to more young people for years to come."
Other awards include £207,000 for the MED Theatre in Moretonhampstead for its Moor Connections project. The theatre will work with young people and their families and friends to make connections between communities, as well as providing creative opportunities for young people living in rural areas.
The Great Exhibition of the North, which takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead, will receive £190,000, while Suffolk’s Fit Villages programme, which aims to improve the fitness of older and isolated people in the Suffolk Coastal area, will receive £323,436.
Last year The Big Lottery Fund distributed £713 million to projects like these, and has contributed over £8 billion since 2004.
Where Does the Money Come From?
A portion of every lottery ticket sold in the UK goes into the National Lottery’s Good Causes fund. The amount that is contributed can vary depending on whether the ticket was bought in-store or online, the level of unclaimed prizes, and the mix of games sold, amongst other factors. In the year ending March 2017, £1.6 billion went to support good causes, from total ticket sales of £6.9 billion.
The money in the Good Causes fund is then distributed on a quarterly basis by 12 independent bodies, including the Big Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the British Film Institute (BFI) and Sport England. These organisations are selected by the UK government based on their expertise, but decisions about where the funding goes are made independently of any government department (although there are guidelines that they have to follow).
In the year ending March 2017, 40% of lottery funding went to health, education, environment and charitable causes, while the sports, arts and heritage sectors received roughly 20% each. The National Lottery has supported over 525,000 projects to date.
Visit the lottery’s Good Causes website to find out about the projects near you that have received funding.