Big Lottery Fund
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£15 million to help tackle poverty in Wales
Some of the most disadvantaged communities in Wales will be supported through a £15 million investment announced yesterday by the Big Lottery Fund.
The Fund recognises that Wales has a high percentage of the population living in poverty (23 per cent) with the highest level of child poverty in the UK (31 per cent in 2011/12).
To help buck these trends, it is setting up an independent trust to distribute £15 million to address the causes and symptoms of poverty in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Wales.
And the search is now on for a chair and five trustee directors to take a major role in shaping and delivering the work.
They will collaborate with local people to identify need in around 15 chosen communities over a ten year period. Communities with a population of around 2,500 to 5,000 people will be supported to develop their own solutions to poverty, improve their wellbeing, raise their aspirations, build social capital and increase resilience to challenging circumstances.
After the trust is launched, it will identify the final list of areas across Wales that will benefit from funding. Determining factors will include areas disproportionally impacted by current welfare reforms, areas with a high incidence of child poverty and areas of economic decline. Other characteristics like high numbers of benefit claimants, low educational attainment, crime and health statistics will also help determine the shortlist.
The trust will start working with communities in early 2015 and will distribute funding in a number of ways, including community development support and grants.
John Rose, the Big Lottery Fund’s Wales Director, said: “This is an exciting opportunity as our research shows that there is no one organisation in Wales that can deliver the combination of interventions and support required.
“It’s a bottom up approach that focuses on looking for positives in communities and then empowering local people to expand their potential, identify local needs and set up projects they want in their area to help tackle poverty. This provides a different but complementary emphasis to existing anti-poverty programmes.
“Our aim is to help communities most in need and the trust will be using our funding in areas that need help most.”
Sir Adrian Webb, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Wales Committee, said: “The Trust has a unique opportunity to make a difference and play an imaginative role in tackling poverty in Wales. We are ambitious at the Big Lottery Fund and we want Lottery funding to create real impact and to influence both policy and practice.
“Our vision for the Building Communities Programme is to establish a world-class Trust to take the lead in addressing the impact of poverty in Wales.”
Following an extensive literature, policy and stakeholder review to inform debate on the investment of additional Lottery income, the Fund agreed to make the investment to tackle poverty.
And the trust’s aims will include:
Helping local third sector ‘anchor’ organisations take a lead role in local regeneration and developing community resilience.
Equipping the third sector to develop and deliver initiatives to address poverty and use learning and expertise to inform the policy debate on poverty.
Reducing the impact of poverty on individuals and the target communities in which they live and making them more resilient to the impact of poverty and social disadvantage.
Enhancing local leadership to drive forward the engagement of target communities in local regeneration and resilience.
For more information about the programme or to download a chair or trustee director recruitment pack visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/buildingcommunities. You can also register online for a recruitment information event which is being held in Cardiff on Wednesday 4 December 2013.
The closing date for applications to become chair or a trustee director is Monday 20 January 2014.
Ben Payne - Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 01686 611 720
Out of Hours Contact: 07980 914898
Public Enquiries Line: 0300 123 0735 Textphone: 0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
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Notes to Editors
In Wales, the Big Lottery Fund is rolling out close to £100,000 a day in National Lottery good cause money, which together with other Lottery distributors means that across Wales most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was 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 £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants given out across the arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.