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Report to the East of England Regional Assembly

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					Report to the East of England Regional Assembly                         Item 6

Executive Committee                                             1st July 2004

Subject:     BIG LOTTERY FUND

Report by:   Secretariat



1.    Introduction

1.1   The purpose of this report is to draw the attention of the Executive
      Committee to changes in the bodies responsible for the distribution of
      lottery funding and to a national consultation exercise that is being
      carried out over the summer. Given that the East of England now has
      a Regional Social Strategy, it is considered essential that future
      decisions relating to lottery funding should be developed in the context
      of this strategy and therefore the Assembly should respond accordingly
      to the consultation.

1.2   The Big Lottery Fund was launched on 1 June 2004. It combines the
      Community Fund and the New Opportunities Fund and will be
      responsible for distributing 50% of the lottery proceeds for good
      causes, representing £600-700 million per annum. Consultation on
      how the Fund should operate is taking place from June - September
      2004. The results of the consultation will be known in early 2005.

1.3   It is anticipated that legislation will be introduced in 2005 to allow the
      Big Lottery Fund to undertake its new role, including the power to
      provide funding from other sources, not just the Lottery.

1.4   The full range of new programmes is expected to begin in 2005-6.
      Existing grant programmes will continue in the short-term and funding
      commitments will be met.


2.    Proposals for the Big Lottery Fund

2.1   While the Fund will continue to support charities and the voluntary
      sector, it is intended that it will also take on the Millennium
      Commission's ability to fund large-scale regenerative projects. The
      proportion of funding received by the voluntary and community sectors
      will be at least as much as is currently guaranteed through the
      Community Fund, representing a third of Big Lottery Fund income.

2.2   It is proposed that the Big Lottery Fund will have three main streams of
      funding:




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      Open programmes

      Similar to funding programmes currently provided by the Community
      Fund to the voluntary and community sector. Organisations develop
      their own ideas for funding and apply for a grant through submission of
      an application form.

      National programmes

      Likely to be closely linked to Government priorities and strategy and
      involve larger sums of money. May be similar to the themed approach
      of the New Opportunities Fund with its priority areas of health,
      education and environment.

      Transformational programmes

      Funding for major projects of national significance. It is expected that
      that the number of projects funded will be limited, and the funding will
      largely concentrate on capital development.


3.    Consultation

3.1   The Big Lottery Fund is consulting on its structure and funding
      programmes before legislation is introduced in 2005. The consultation
      period finishes on 30th September 2004.

3.2   There is an on-line consultation questionnaire available at
      www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.

      The questionnaire is divided under two main headings and identifies
      eight issues where they are seeking views.

      What we should fund
                Funding for the voluntary and community sector
                Funding for health, education and environment
                Transformational programmes
                Specialist programmes

      How we should fund
               Regional working in England
               How we involve the public in our work
               How we reach the hard to reach
               Funding long-term change

      Alongside the consultation, a review of the regional structure of both
      existing organisations is being undertaken to help determine the best
      structure for the Big Lottery Fund.



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3.3    There are two consultation events being held in the East of England in
       Luton on 7th July and in Norwich on 27th July. Officers from the
       Secretariat will be attending and a number of Assembly Members and
       constituencies may also be present.

4.     Recommendation
       It is recommended that the Executive Committee;
       a)     publicise the consultation on the Big Lottery Fund amongst
              their respective groups and networks;
       b)     feedback any comments and suggestions for inclusion in
              the questionnaire response; and
       c)     ask the Secretariat to draft a response to the consultation
              for consideration at the next Executive Committee meeting.




Contact: Stephen Hinchley 01284 729430 stephen.hinchley@eera.gov.uk




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