Friday, 22 August 2008

* Olympic raids prompt cuts in sector's lottery programmes

The Big Lottery Fund has made further revisions to the amount of money it will award to the voluntary sector in the coming year.

The fund announced last week that it had reduced the value of the Young People's Fund 2 from £76m to £68m and the Research Programme, which awards grants for social and medical research, from £25m to £20m.

The combined £13m reduction follows the government's £638m raids on lottery funds last year to help pay for the rising costs of the 2012 Olympics, and comes despite vigorous campaigning by the voluntary sector to prevent further losses.

In June last year, it was reported that the BLF was going to delay the opening of these same two programmes in anticipation of the Olympic cash.

A fund spokesman said current budgets had been revised because of difficulties with forward planning, over-subscription of programmes, fluctuations in lottery income and having to "factor the loss to our income as a result of the Olympics".

Sir Clive Booth, chair of the fund, said: "We recognise the concern this measure will cause, but following a review of grant budgets it is a necessary and pragmatic step to safeguard the grants already made and to protect future funding for the sector."
From Third Sector News

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