Big Lottery Fund
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Big Lottery Fund looks to sector to build on rural community social enterprise movement

The Big Lottery Fund has today announced plans to appoint a key delivery partner to help build on its investment to community social enterprise, specifically targeting rural villages. 

A champion of rural regeneration, the Big Lottery Fund created Village SOSGoes to different websiteOpens in new window, an innovative funding programme that put a spotlight on village community projects and sought to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that people living in rural areas across the UK face, inspiring people to get involved and make a difference in their communities.

The Village SOS Learning, Outreach and Engagement Campaign – a two year campaign with a value of up to £1.49 million - seeks to develop Lottery-funded support further by providing a support and educational network to these rural communities, enabling them to identify and develop sustainable business ideas as solutions for the problems and issues they face.

The Fund is inviting bids from organisations or consortiums which bring together particular strengths or specialist skills and expertise working within the social enterprise sector and with rural communities within each country in the UK.  Key to this activity is engagement and the action the successful bidder will be able to inspire over the period of the contract.

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund Chair Opens in new windowsaid: “Feedback from funding rural community projects has told us that many require support, guidance and capacity building in an inspiring and engaging way.  The Village SOS community should be a place where project teams can congregate, gain advice, talk and share ideas; ultimately gaining the knowledge to develop their plans into something more tangible.  This is an exciting opportunity for the right organisation – or group of organisations - to promote social enterprise as an engine of rural development.”

Download the invitation to tender and find out more

The deadline for submissions is 12.00 (noon) on 17 February 2014.

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
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Notes to editors

  • Village SOS Goes to different websiteOpens in new windowhas to date awarded over £10 million in funding to 161 innovative village community projects
  • It featured on a prime time BBC television show, Village SOSGoes to different websiteOpens in new window, which followed six village projects which each received around £400,000 to vitalise their communities.
  • The online community to different website has a membership representing over 4,000 villages across the UK, connecting people to the advice, support and guidance they need.
  • The new campaign will commence in April 2014 for a period of up to 24 months, with a potential maximum of up to £1.49 million.
  • Other social enterprise initiatives from Big Lottery Fund include Power to Change in England
  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • The Fund 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 its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.
  • The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • In the year ending 31 March 2013, 28% of total National Lottery revenue was returned to the Good Causes.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £31 billion has been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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