The Big Lottery Fund is introducing a “lighter-touch” Reaching Communities application process for organisations seeking grants of up to £40,000 a year.
In response to its major public BIG Thinking consultation last year on the future of BIG programmes, the lottery distributor has made some changes to its flagship Reaching Communities programme.
All applicants will learn at an earlier stage whether their project has a decent chance of being funded, so that those that are invited to the second stage will have a much higher chance of success. More than three-quarters of people that responded to the consultation said they wanted earlier decisions on applications, based on a few key questions at the enquiry stage - even if that meant rejection.
And, those applicants seeking up to £40,000 will face a simpler application and assessment process.
Also in the pipeline to be launched in the autumn is a dedicated capital funding stream that BIG hopes will help to fill the “large, unmet demand” for funding for community buildings. This is anticipated to fund medium-sized refurbishment, new builds or extensions to community centres, village halls or other community-use buildings.
In total the various parts of the Reaching Communities programme will be funded to the tune of at least £100m a year for each of the next five years. Grants will range from £10,000 to £500,000.