The funding plans have involved months of work between Big Lottery Fund, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and government departments. They aim to increase sector involvement in European funding, and represent “a substantially more community-led approach” to European funding, according to NCVO.
The plans were announced by Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive, Dawn Austwick, at today’s Evolve conference, run by NCVO.
European Structural and Investment Fund 2014-2020
The matched funding applies to the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF), very little of which has to date been accessed directly by charities. The new seven-year, 2014-2020 round of the Fund should be approved by the European Commission later this year.
After that, Big Lottery Fund will be able to match over £260 million of Lottery funding in England against a similar figure from ESIF for projects that address poverty and social inclusion, for example, by improving skills, employability and education opportunities in disadvantaged communities.
The combined funds will be managed by the Big Lottery Fund, which will be made available next year. Meanwhile, the Fund would make £620,000 available over the summer to connect voluntary organisations together to ensure that they are involved in discussions about the funding and can start developing bids.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:
“Previously, work funded by European social inclusion funding has been nationally designed, and delivered through large organisations. We made very clear that we believe the best way for the funding to make a difference is to use it to support the work of expert charities. This is why we called for the money earmarked for social inclusion to be available to the voluntary sector. Voluntary organisations will now be shaping and running the projects they think are necessary to help people in disadvantaged communities”.
Photo: Euro notes by Gena96 on Shutterstock.com
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