Big Lottery Fund
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

BIG fuels People Powered Change across England

The Big Lottery Fund today (Friday, 25 March) launches ‘People Powered Change’, a platform to build, accelerate and extend new and different approaches to develop great community-led action already underway across England.

Through ‘People Powered Change’ BIG will provide support, information and tools to release the talents of individuals and community groups, to improve and strengthen their neighbourhoods.  

As part of BIG’s future funding ethos in England - ‘People Powered Change’ - BIG is putting the first £5.76million into four projects which focus on empowering communities and people to build a better future.

At The Lowry, Salford on Friday, 25 March community organisations are coming together to engage in debate and discover how others are already driving forward grassroots actions. (See below for agenda).

Sanjay Dighe, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund England Committee said: “People Powered Change is about creating the right conditions for local communities to take action for themselves and for others to build on the great work they are already doing. Through the BIG funding made available today local communities will be able to access different community tools to garner energy at a local level to bring people in need together. Initially BIG will be working with specialist organisations working at grassroots and regional media groups to empower people to make decisions locally about which projects are most in need of funding.”

Dharmendra Kanani, England Director, Big Lottery Fund explained: “BIG is an established funder for community empowerment. However, community-led action can’t happen overnight, and in an environment full of change and uncertainty BIG will enable projects to unlock the hidden talents among local communities.

Dharmendra continued, “This is just the beginning of People Powered Change. We’re looking forward to seeing the emergence of new resilient, innovative and inspirational projects that help communities achieve their goals. We want dynamic local people to feel recognised for the work they are already doing and less confident people to know what our actions and funding will give them more of a chance to make a difference locally.”

BIG’s focus for new England programmes will include working in areas where there is an under investment in skills, resources and social networks and building local partnerships to make Lottery good cause funding go further and have a lasting impact.

BIG will be taking its learning and insights from what is already happening in communities and combine that with investment in enablers to make it much more likely that communities with potential can feel confident about securing positive change in their area.

The Young Foundation receives £820,000 to boost local community capacity to tackle the issues that matter most, by working with the key agencies that promote and spread community organising, strengthening their ability to work in new areas. Alongside this, the Young Foundation will support communities to campaign and lobby for change through popular social media platforms and – where appropriate – newly developed digital tools.

Receiving £2.2m today is UnLtd for its Big Venture Challenge, a national competition for the most ambitious social entrepreneurs in England. It is looking for people with big ideas to step up and meet the challenges faced by disadvantaged communities today. The 25 winners of the Big Venture Challenge will each get an initial £25,000 plus the chance to access up to an additional £150,000 if matched by co-investors.  Winners will also get high level business support and mentoring to help them grow their ventures to scale.

NESTA’s Neighbourhood Challenge is receiving £2m towards equipping 16 finalist projects with the right skills, practical tools and small, catalytic amounts of money to galvanise people to work together to create innovative responses to local priorities, particularly in neighbourhoods with low levels of social capital.

Also receiving funding today is Your Square Mile which will use £830,000 of funding to develop a digital platform to support the piloting and roll out of Your Square Mile. The locally controlled digital platform will aggregate community activity providing people with access to local information and resources, including information about local groups, opportunities and local support services. Your Square Mile has already embarked on 16 pilots and will launch the first stage of its digital platform in late summer. It will then launch as a mutual for all citizens to join in the autumn.

Full details are available at

Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888     
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030                           
Textphone: 0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:

Press contacts for grant awardees:

NESTA – Jan Singleton on 020 7438 2606or

UnLtd – Francesca Carpanini on 020 7566 1137 or

Your Square Mile – Jamie Cowan on 07733 195990 or

The Young Foundation – Alison Harvie on 020 8709 9265 or

The Lowry, Salford Quays

25 March 2011

10.30 Arrival & registration

11.00 Dharmendra Kanani, Director of England, Big Lottery Fund

11.10 Peter Wanless, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund

11.20 Arthur Potts Dawson, The People’s Supermarket

11.30 Fairshare Trust Film

11.40 Panel Discussion, chaired by Cormac Russell. Followed by question and answers

Phil Colligan, NESTA
Jonathan Jenkins, UnLtd
Nicola Bacon, Young Foundation
Paul Twivy, Your Square Mile

12.20 People Powered Change live grant making – The pitches

John Gartside, Board Member, Big Lottery Fund
Cliff Prior, Chief Executive, UnLtd
Arthur Potts-Dawson

12.50 Tom Calderbank, Community Organiser

12.55 Lunch in the Quays Bar

14.00 Your Square Mile Film

14.05 People Powered Change live grant making – The results

14.10 Tim Campbell, Bright Ideas Trust

14.20 Table discussions – Sue Charteris, Tim Campbell

15.15 UnLtd Launch

15.20 David Robinson, Community Links

15.30 Video of day’s events

15.35 Closing, Dharmendra Kanani

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £25 billion has now been raised and more than 330,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

You Cant EffectivelyManage What You Cant Effectively See or Control