APR 2018: Big Lottery Fund

Simplified application processes, new ways of thinking and staff numbers across England almost tripled – there are some big changes at the Big Lottery Fund. 

Led by Jane Haddock, Funding Manager, the Kent and Sussex team has appointed four new local Funding Officers to support applicants during their funding journey – from initial ideas through to project completion and beyond. Meet your Kent team:

Supporting: Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells.

Supporting: Dover, Canterbury, Folkestone, Shepway and Thanet.

Supporting: Ashford, Maidstone, Medway and Swale.

Claire Webley and Sarah Owen, Funding Officers, supporting Sussex.

Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting Jane and her team to hear all about their new approach to grant making. One of the biggest changes is the new application process. Gone are the days of applicants blindly submitting online forms and playing the waiting game. Processes have been simplified and streamlined to cut decision waiting times and the opportunity for feedback and resubmission is now given.

Before applying, applicants are invited to discuss their early stage ideas with their local Funding Officer – ideas can be submitted via email, telephone or an online form. If the idea is thought to be fundable, an application form will need to be completed. Once submitted, applications are reviewed at fortnightly team meetings. Feedback is then issued and the opportunity to submit a second draft is permitted. Further feedback is given again within two weeks and should an application need further support the local Funding Officer will be on hand to work with the organisation. 

There are currently five funding programmes accepting applications from charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises. Of the three most popular funds, the application process for National Lottery Awards for All remains the same, however Reaching Communities England and Partnerships are included in the processing change.

FEB 2019 UPDATE: Big Lottery Fund has relaunched as The National Lottery Community Fund. Find out more about the change here.

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