Scotland's biggest funder won't leave the sector in the lurch as it changes its priorities for the future
Scotland’s biggest third sector funder has today vowed to continue investing around £70m a year into voluntary organisations.
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) Scotland, which has given out grants worth £200m since 2010, said it aims to keep funding from its current Investing in Communities programme until 2016. This means that voluntary organisations may still be able to apply to the funder during its transition to new programmes next year.
An anouncement about when exactly existing funds will close has not been made, however BIG Scotland did unveil a timeline for the transition to new programmes next year.
It follows a major consultation with third sector bodies earlier in the year, called Your Voice Your Vision, which explored how the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland should fund the sector between 2015 and 2020.
The funder has committed to developing and agreeing the principles that will underpin its future funding programmes early next year.
The new programmes will be unveiled in summer 2015 and it aims to have them open by autumn 2015.
In a statement on its website, BIG Scotland said: “We will try to balance the need to keep a flow of funding into the third sector in Scotland with the need to have a well managed transition to our new ways of working.
“With this in mind we will make announcements of our plans to open and close programmes to new applications as early as possible.”
A spokeswoman for BIG Scotland also told TFN it believes future funding will remain at current levels.
She added: “As always, our future funding will be dependent on ticket sales but what we can say is that we are planning on our budget to be stable over the next five years.
“Investing in Communities, which currently forms the core part of our business, launched in 2010 and to date has awarded just under £200 million. We expect to continue to make awards from this fund into 2016."