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The Big Lottery Fund’s plans for Scotland, 2015 to 2020

October 30, 2014

What happens next?

The Big Lottery Fund’s plans for Scotland, 2015 to 2020

The Big Lottery Fund started work to develop our new Strategic Framework earlier this year. This framework will set out the sort of organisation we aspire to be, and how we will operate in the five year period from 2015 to 2020. You can see what issues were raised, along with our initial responses, on the Your Voice our Vision website.

At the same time as considering the results of this process, we’ve now started to plan how we will develop and deliver our funding programmes in Scotland from next year. The latest iteration of Investing in Communities was launched in 2010, and so we want to make sure that our work in Scotland is up to date and relevant to the needs of communities and individuals in Scotland today and in the future.

As a broad guide, the timetable for this work will be


We know that many organisations still plan to apply to for funding to our existing programmes over the coming months. We will plan to keep Investing in Communities open to new applications for as long as possible before we move to open our new programmes.

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.

We plan to be as transparent as we can about our plans and the decisions we’ll be taking over the next year which will underpin our future work in Scotland. To achieve this we’ll regularly be posting information here as we develop this work, as well as using Facebook and Twitter to highlight new information. The best way to keep in touch is to sign up to our regular email newsletter here, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Funding for Faith-Based Organisations: a Quick Guide

October 29, 2014

When we talk to faith-based organisations, they are often surprised to find out that they might be able to access our funding! Because of this, we thought it would be a good idea to try and deal with a few of the most common questions, issues and misconceptions. Here we go:

Can faith-based organisations apply for Big Lottery Fund grants?

By ReligijneSymbole.svg: Szczepan1990 Pagan_religions_symbols.png: *Triskele-Symbol1.svg:Dariusofthedark at en.wikipedia Heathenism_symbol.PNG: Nyo Hellenism_SYMBOL.png: Iyyo Ankh.svg: AmosWolfe HandsGod.svg: AnonMoos Roman_Way_to_the_Gods_SYMBOL.png: Iyyo Triple-Goddess-Waxing-Full-Waning-Symbol-filled.png: AnonMoos Emb-37.svg:Theone256 at en.wikipedia CadishismPalm.svg: Original PNG version: Nyo - SVG version: Amakukha Hamsa.svg: Frater5 Continents_from_globe.png: The Transhumanist  derivative-compile work: Niusereset [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], from Wikimedia CommonsYes. Faith-based groups (including places of worship, religious organisations, or issue-based religious charities) are eligible to apply for most of our grants, so long as they have the following things in place:

  • A committee or board with at least three unrelated members
  • A governing document such as a constitution
  • A bank account in the organisation’s name
  • Annual financial accounts.

Applicant organisations don’t have to be registered charities. They just have to have social aims, and meet our basic conditions laid out above.

What type of activities can faith-based organisations use Big Lottery Fund grants for?

Faith-based organisations can apply to run the same kinds of activities as any other groups applying.

The main thing faith-based groups need to be aware of is that we cannot fund the practice of religion, or any activities that actively promote religion or particular belief systems (or indeed the lack of belief). This is because these activities could exclude people from accessing a project on religious grounds.

Can Big Lottery Fund support projects with religious elements?

Potentially. Our main consideration is whether these activities could exclude people from accessing your project. For example, we couldn’t fund a counselling project that requires all users to make a religious pledge before taking part. But if users were given the option to opt out from this pledge without it affecting their participation, we could consider funding the activity.

Can Big Lottery Fund support community buildings within places of worship – like church halls?

Yes. We regularly fund minor refurbishment and upgrades for the likes of church halls through Awards for All Scotland. We recognise that these are important assets in many communities, and host a wide range of other groups and activities. However, we would not typically fund a building that is used primarily as either a place of worship or for other religious activities.

We cannot accept Lottery money. Do any Big Lottery Fund Scotland grants come from other sources?

Yes. Most of our funding comes from the National Lottery, but we also administer some grants in Scotland that distribute money from other sources, or mixed sources. Currently these include Young Start (funded only by dormant bank accounts) and the Communities and Families Fund (where the majority of funding is from The Scottish Government, with some Lottery input).

Any other questions? Not sure if you can apply?

Get in touch! You can find our contact details here.

Peoples Millions finalists announced

October 28, 2014

This week we announce the 24 groups  from across Scottish STV and ITV regions who have been chosen to compete for the chance to win up to £50,000 in Lottery funding.
The People’s Millions 2014 will be broadcast on STV East, West and North and ITV Border evening news bulletins at the end of November. This will see community groups go head-to-head in a bid to win a Big Lottery Fund award for life-changing projects.Logo to use PM_Master_hi

A full list of all 24 Scottish projects and their plans for the money are available on the People’s Millions website. From now until voting night each group will be campaigning for your vote.

There’s four £50,000 awards up for grabs each region – one award for each night from 24 November to 26 November, as well as a bonus award for the runner up with the most phone votes across the week.  Two groups each night will make their cases for viewers’ support to take home up to £50,000, with the public voting by phone to help decide who wins the prize.

Jackie Killeen, Scotland Director Big Lottery Fund, said: “The People’s Millions competition is a brilliant opportunity for people to have a say in how Lottery money is spent in their communities. Voters will have some difficult choices to make in deciding which of the excellent projects going head to head will get their support. But most importantly, the end result will benefit people and communities most in need.”

This is the ninth year that the Big Lottery Fund and ITV have teamed up to give the public the chance to choose where the Lottery good cause cash goes in their area. Since it began in 2005, the competition has funded over 599 diverse community projects across the UK with an incredible £31.3 million in Big Lottery Fund good cause money.


New community asset for Muir of Ord residents

October 23, 2014

Community ownership is alive and kicking as the people of Muir of Ord in Inverness celebrate a Growing Community Assets award. The Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company receives £1,156,957 to refurbish and extend the existing Old Tarradale School. This will provide a new community owned facility offering social and learning opportunities for 3,300 residents, as well as visitors to the village.

From the new hub, the Calman Trust will operate a café which will provide training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Plans for the building also include a heritage and information centre, an auditorium, IT facilities and meeting space for groups to socialise.

The Old Tarradale School will soon be transformed into an enterprising community hub

Speaking on behalf of the Board and Members of Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company, Ian Dempster, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that our application for funding has been successful. The new community hub will improve the appearance of the village centre and provide a focal point for community activities.  The Company are also delighted to be working in partnership with The Calman Trust who, in providing the cafe service in the new hub, will offer employment and employment training opportunities for local young people.

“It is very exciting and we hope the Hub will be seen as a ‘springboard’ for wider regeneration of the community. There is a wide range of excellent grassroots activity in the village and with a Community Development Worker, funded as part of the development, energy can be channelled to achieve improvements and increased opportunities for local people.”

Listen to Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair Maureen McGinn explaining more about this Growing Community Assets award.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets fund supports communities to take control and influence over their own future through the ownership of assets.  Find out more about Growing Community Assets.


Your burning questions – October 2014

October 22, 2014

Our Scotland Advice Team receive an average of 700 enquiries every month. We’re here to give advice and support to organisations before they apply for funding. Below are three of our most common questions asked recently.

Where can I get an end of grant report from?

These are now specific to each organisation so there isn’t a ‘generic’ one available. To receive your end of grant report, please contact your Funding Officer on 0141 242 1400 (press option 1).

Can we include supporting documents along with our application form?

As we receive a high amount of applications, unfortunately we are unable to consider supporting documents. Everything should be included within the application form.

There’s been changes to your funding this year. What funding of up to £10,000 is currently available?MB7H1815 1 250

We have three grants that can fund up to £10,000 (you might have heard them being called ‘small grants’). These are:

Awards for All (£500 to £10,000) – for community or sports projects

Communities and Families Fund (£250 to £10,000) – for improving pre-birth to eight years of age’s quality of life

Investing in Ideas (£500 to £10,000) – to test out a new idea or a new way of working

If you have any other questions about our funding, you can go to Ask BIG, where we give answers to other commonly asked questions.

Alternatively, if you can’t find your answer at Ask BIG, you can email us at