Later this year the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland will launch its new funding programmes. Over the last few months we have been in discussion with many of you to help us to shape our plans for the future and ensure we make our new programmes the best they can be.
Before we open our new programmes, we will close Investing in Communities to Stage 1 applications. Our other grants programmes Awards for All, Young Start, Communities and Families Fund and Investing Ideas will remain open with business as usual.
We will not accept Stage 1 applications to Investing in Communities after midday on 30th June 2015.
This applies to all three Investing in Communities Investment Areas: Life Transitions, Supporting 21st Century Life and Growing Community Assets.
Our experience tells us that demand for funding in the coming months will significantly exceed the amount available. The proportion of successful applications will be lower than it has been in the past, and there will be a higher bar for success. We still want to see a wide range of applications for Investing in Communities, and we plan to fund new activity both across the country and in each of our Investment Areas over the next couple of years.
Notwithstanding this, we will prioritise applications which:
*Support individuals and communities in the most disadvantaged places, ideally at a neighbourhood level
*Show strong levels of community connection and engagement
*Address outcomes in Life Transitions which have received less funding up to now, specifically:
- Outcome 2: More people previously outside the labour market access sustainable jobs created in enterprises and organisations working towards social aims.
- Outcome 4: Fewer people with serious mental health or substance misuse problems enter the criminal justice system or experience homelessness.
- Outcome 5: People who are homeless or offending and experiencing serious mental health or substance misuse problems access a fuller range of appropriate services.
- Outcome 6: More people from disadvantaged groups have key financial products (including advice, a basic bank account, home contents insurance, affordable energy, access to affordable credit and relevant benefit and credit entitlements).
- In addition any applications to Outcome 3 (employability) should demonstrate how their proposed activity fits with local employability pipelines and should have discussed their project with the Local Employability Partnership.
Closing Investing in Communities to stage 1 applications means we have time to process the large numbers of applications we expect to receive at this time, and to prepare for the introduction of our new programmes, which is planned for later in 2015. These priorities will be used to help manage demand at the end of this programme in a way which helps us to deliver a balance of funding and meet our programme outcomes by the end of this funding period.
Details of how to apply to Investing In Communities can be found on our website, and you can keep in touch with our latest news, including hearing details of our forthcoming new programmes, by signing up to our monthly Ebulletin.