No Space and Place from BIG Lottery until 2013
Big Lottery Fund first called for applications for the £15million Award Partner early in 2011 to be submitted by a deadline in July 2011. The programmes guidelines set a target of December 2011 for informing the successful award partner however the Big Lottery Fund is still in the process of selecting the Award Partner.
UPDATE (8 Mar 2013): Community Foundation for Northern Ireland are recruiting as of March 2013 for staff to deliver the BIG Lottery Fund Space and Place programme. The closing date for the jobs is the end of March. It would we therefore be an assumption that applications may not open until later in the Spring/Summer after posts have been filled and funding documentation and processes prepatred.
The programme was established following consultation in 2009/2010 that highlighted demand for the Big Lottery Fund to support the integration of communities, across both political and social class divides, in Northern Ireland. There was demand for providing new spaces and places and using existing ones better, particularly those that are currently underused or difficult for a variety of reasons. The consultation supported the idea of providing spaces to play, to meet others, build relationships and enhance participation.
BIG now hopes to announce the chosen Award Partner "late in 2012". The timetable will then depend on the Award Partners programme for how and when funding will be delivered. It would not be unusual for an Award Partner to take a further number of months after their formal appointment to fully develop their funding programmes, open for funding applications and choose successful projects. This may mean funding may not reach the ground, both metaphorically and literally, until well unto 2013.
The programme's Award Partner will be chosen from the voluntary and community sector on the basis of being able to run the programme’s grant scheme and make grants of £50,000 to £1 million to projects that create safe spaces where people of all ages in the community can meet and take part in activities that improve their health and education.
This programme is widely anticipated by the voluntary and community sector as one of the few community capital programmes on the horizon.