06/11/2008

Lottery Underpins Voluntary Sector

Big Lottery Fund has announced details of a multi-million pound investment to help develop and shape the future of Northern Ireland's community and voluntary sector.

The Building Change Trust will invest £10 million to help community groups and larger voluntary organisations adapt and develop new ways of working.

The Trust marks a pioneering way of investing National Lottery funding in Northern Ireland and details of how the investment will help support communities were unveiled at a special event in W5 today.

The Lottery cash will be invested over the next 10 years. By investing the Trust will not make grants in a traditional way, but will look at what resources already exist in communities and identify ways to support communities to develop and change.

The Trust will identify detailed programmes that promote volunteering, develop the local community infrastructure and leadership skills in rural and urban communities. Part of the Trust will be invested to offer loans and advice to community and voluntary organisations.

Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, Breidge Gadd, said: "The Building Change Trust marks a radical departure in the way National Lottery Good Cause funding is distributed in Northern Ireland.

"Through the Trust we are moving away from traditional grant making which the community and voluntary sector is familiar with and are investing Lottery funding into bringing about a real change in the sector.

"I believe that the Building Change Trust will create a dynamic process of thinking and visioning to ensure that the community and voluntary sector will be fit for purpose in the future," she said.

(BMcC)

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