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Our Environment Our Future

November 25, 2014

£30M to help young people improve their environments

The Big Lottery Fund is investing £30 million across the UK to support young people, aged 11-24, to improve their local environments. Our Environment Our Future will fund a portfolio made up of a number of individual projects across the UK.

Our Environment Our FutureThe projects funded through Our Environment Our Future will:

  • Make a significant change in the quality of our urban and rural environments.
  • Increase the ability of young people to improve places that are important to them, and to influence the attitudes and decisions that shape their neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Catalyse change led by young people by investing in both the direct improvement of the environment and the development of young people.

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) is leading a consortium which has been selected to develop the portfolio for the Big Lottery Fund. Other members of the consortium are the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Community Service Volunteers, the Field Studies Council, the Plunkett Foundation, the Conservation Volunteers, vInspired, and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust

How do you get involved?

  • If you are interested in applying to lead a project as part of the portfolio, please visit the RSWT website, where you can find the Expression of Interest form and supporting information for applicants.
  • If you want to receive more information as it becomes available please email to be added to their mailing list.

If you have any queries about the application process or your potential application please call the Wildlife Trusts on 01636 677711

Key dates:

The RSWT will present the Big Lottery Fund with a proposed portfolio of projects  early in 2015, with awards made to successful projects by the end of March.

If you’d like your project to be included, you can submit an Expression of Interest form up until 5pm on 17 December 2014.

Find out more:

To find out more about this funding, potential applicants can take part in interactive webinars on the following dates:

  • Friday 28 November (at 1pm)
  • Monday 8 December (at 2pm)

To book a place in a webinar please email

Further information can be found on the RSWT website here:


An update on Our Place

November 24, 2014

“Our Place” is a new approach to Lottery Funding, which supports selected communities to develop a common vision of how their own area can develop and grow, and how Lottery Funding could support these changes.


Our Place launches in South Lanarkshire

Our Place launches in South Lanarkshire

Originally launched in 2010, Our Place has already invested in twenty five different projects in five areas across Scotland. We’re now launching the initiative in another seven communities. These new areas are:

  •  Auchmuty in Fife
  • Camelon in Falkirk
  • Lochside and Lincluden in Dumfries and Galloway
  • Douglas in Dundee
  • Ardrossan (Central and North East) in North Ayrshire
  • Whitlawburn and Springhall in South Lanarkshire
  • Shortlees in East Ayrshire

The approach represents a different way of investing Lottery money based around priorities that are set by local people themselves

Over the next five years, support contractors will be working with people in the seven Our Place communities to help a range of local people and organisations to bring about positive and lasting changes to their neighbourhood. We expect that some of the Our Place activity will lead to Big Lottery Fund investment in local projects, and we have set aside an overall budget of £10.5m for funding to be distributed across all seven communities.

All applications we receive must emerge from the asset based community development (ABCD) work that has taken place in each neighbourhood. For that reason, we do not anticipate receiving funding applications for larger grants for at least 12 months.

The Our Place areas are hosting their own launch events, and most of these are taking place before Christmas. In fact, this Hallowe’en saw some Big Lottery Fund staff surrounded by superheroes and zombies in the middle of a dimly-lit underpass in South Lanarkshire for the launch in Whitlawburn and Springhall. The evening was very much in keeping with our aspirations for this next phase of the Our Place initiative, as we have always had high hopes that it would encourage the unconventional!

Details of the support contractors for each of the areas are available on our website.

Have your say on Community Growing Plans

November 20, 2014

Last month we flagged up that the Scottish Government is keen to hear from Scottish communities as part of its scrutiny of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.

As part of this process, MSPs now want your help to shape the new law on Community Growing Plans. The Local Government and Regeneration Committee is considering how access to allotments and other types of growing space should be supported as part of a new law on community empowerment in Scotland.

We know that lots of our successful grantholders have developed brilliant community allotments and growing spaces, so we think this is a great opportunity for you to have your say about the future of this kind of work in Scotland!

Have a look at this short video for more information:

In particular, here’s what the parliament would like to hear about from you:

  1. What are the benefits of having access to an allotment?
  2. What other types of spaces could be used to grow food and plants?
  3. How could a food-growing plan assist you?

MSPs want to hear from you

So if you have something to say about Community Growing, you can let the MSPs know  through the following methods:


Telephone: 0131 348 6040

Address: Local Government and Regeneration Committee

Room T3.40,
The Scottish Parliament,
EH99 1SP


Twitter: @SP_LocalGov #spgrowingcommunity

Twenty years of changing lives

November 18, 2014

It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago today Noel Edmonds and Anthea Turner pushed the button starting the very first National Lottery draw. To mark the occasion and to celebrate the impact of Lottery funding in our communities, our Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn was asked to speak on behalf of the National Lottery family at a celebratory event at The Helix in Falkirk.

Here’s some of what she had to say…

Ask most people today about The National Lottery and they will tell you what they’d do if they won.  It’s true, The National Lottery has created over 3,600 millionaires and changed the lives of ordinary people up and down the country.

But, of course, they aren’t the only winners.

Thanks to National Lottery players, over 52,000 sport, arts, heritage, environment, education, health and community projects have been made possible in Scotland.


The magnificent Kelpies, the centrepiece of the Helix project funded by the Big Lottery Fund

The National Lottery family in Scotland is made up of the Big Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, sportscotland, UK Sport, the BFI and Camelot, the operators of National Lottery games. Between us we aim to ensure money raised by Lottery players has the most meaningful impact as possible across the country.

Today we are in the heart of the Helix, a project made possible with a £25 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund – the largest we have ever awarded in Scotland.    We’re surrounded by 350 hectares of land that has been transformed into an environmental space for the whole community to enjoy.   It’s created multiple full-time jobs, a vast numbers of volunteer opportunities and numerous contracts for local trades and suppliers.

The magnificent centrepieces to the Helix are of course the Kelpies which have just topped a public vote of the favourite places funded by the National Lottery in Scotland over the last 20 years.  These amazing equine structures have quickly become a new cultural icon of Scotland, attracting international attention and drawing visitors from far and wide.

Further afield, National Lottery funding has positively impacted on Scotland’s diverse urban and rural communities.  It’s been a key driver in restoring and reinvigorating some of Scotland’s most famous landmarks such the National Museum of Scotland, the RRS Discovery and the Robert Burns Museum.


Both the Kelpies and Sir Chris Hoy have been voted national treasures in a recent National Lottery poll

The future of rural communities has also been secured through landmark buyouts such as that on the Isle of Gigha.

Creative ideas have been brought to life through funding to arts projects like Sistema Scotland which is transforming whole communities through music.

Investment in sport has not only improved access at a grassroots level but also helped produce world class talent.  We are honoured to be joined today by a true Olympic legend, Sir Chris Hoy, who topped the list of personalities in the National Lottery poll of people who have achieved incredible things with Lottery funding.

So it’s been an amazing 20 years. I don’t think anyone could have ever predicated the phenomenal impact The National Lottery has had. But rest assured our work does not end here.  The National Lottery will continue to bring real improvements to communities in Scotland and to the lives of those most in need by funding projects which bring about positive change.”


Why we all need good trustees

November 14, 2014


Big Lottery Fund Good Governance Guide Image front cove

Big Lottery Fund Good Governance Guide

As Trustee week draws to a close today will see over 100 people from a range of Scottish organisations and charities come together in Dundee for the  ACOSVO, OSCR and Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum: Excellence in Trusteeship event.

Targeted at past, present and future trustees it’s an opportunity to share Scotland’s collective experience of working as and with trustees, highlight the great work that trustees are currently doing, and present opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

Maureen McGinn Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair and UK Board member, will be among the speakers sharing her views on the key role trustees play across the third sector and discussing how good governance is vital for all. And for organisations across the country good governance can make the difference on a successful funding application.

This week in TFN Frank Gould Chair of Youthworks in Fife talked about the challenges and rewards of being involved with a charity but his message was clear: for those involved who volunteer their time you have to rise about the politics and remember it’s about the organisation you’ve committed to support.

Frank said the most essential skill a trustee can bring to a charity is resourcefulness. A board should have a good mix of skills and experience but it also needs individuals who are proactive – people who see solutions not problems.

The Big Lottery Fund sees good governance as not only essential but a key if you want to apply to us for funding. We will look at your governance arrangements closely no matter of you are coming to us for funding from £250 right up to and over £1 million. And we can support and signpost your group to additional help to strengthen your governance if we think you need it.

To help you get started we’ve put together a brand new BIG Good Governance Guide.

In the meantime is you have any questions please contact us: