Funding of the arts and heritage

Written evidence submitted by the Big Lottery Fund (arts 152)

Background / Summary

1. The Big Lottery Fund welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into funding of the arts and heritage.

2. The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) was created in 2004 by the merger of two previous Lottery Distributors, The Community Fund and The New Opportunities Fund. BIG also has residual responsibility for the Millennium Commission.

3. The Big Lottery Fund is currently responsible for distributing 50% of funds raised for Good Causes from The National Lottery and supports projects connected to health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

4. Under our current programmes we fund projects from as little as £300. Demand for our funding remains high. In 2009/10 14,000 commitments were made to projects totalling £440million yet we received over 28,000 applications requesting more than £1billion.

5. Like other Lottery Distributors, we report annually against the additionality principle, to ensure that Lottery funding does not replace Government expenditure.

6. We have a target that at least 80% of our funding, UK-wide, will go to the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS). In 2009/10 92% of BIG’s funding went to the VCS. The remaining 8% went to other wider community projects and partnerships such as individual veterans through our Heroes Return 2 programme, after school clubs and extracurricular activities, partnerships with Local Authorities and others through programmes such as Community Libraries and Parks for People (delivered with the Heritage Lottery Fund).

7. We are an outcomes funder, we are interested in what works for people, communities and neighbourhoods rather than just the specific type of organisation delivering the project. This means that our funding, while local community based, can often be related to arts and heritage activities since these activities can often be used to tackle social, community or personal concerns. Fuller detail of such funding is contained within this response from point 14.

8. Given that the arts and heritage sectors are outside our area of immediate expertise we have focused our response on factual matters relating to our funding of community arts and heritage related projects and the impact of proposed changes to the distribution of National Lottery funds.

Overview of BIG funding of the Arts and Heritage

9. While we do not therefore explicitly fund the arts and heritage sectors we have funded a significant number of community projects related to arts and heritage.

10. Since 2004 we have funded:

ü Over £4.2 million to heritage related community projects

ü Over £72 million to arts related community projects

11. In addition, we have also funded:

ü Over £51.9m to veterans and associated projects through our ‘Heroes Return,’ ‘Their past Your Future’ and ‘Home Front Recall’ programmes -  an investment in Britain’s living legacy

ü Up to £90million towards the joint ‘Parks for People’ programme in partnership with Heritage Lottery Fund

ü Up to £80m through a ‘Community Libraries’ programme

ü Three major grants of around £70million through our ‘Living Landmarks’ programme. This followed previous investments from the Millennium Commission and BIG in transformational projects such as the Eden project.

Changes to the Distribution of National Lottery Funding

12. BIG currently distributes 50% of all Lottery funding to Good Causes. DCMS is consulting on reducing this share to 46% in 2011 and then to 40% in 2012. This percentage of Lottery money will then be reallocated in equal measure from BIG’s Good Cause area to arts, sports and heritage. It is estimated, subject to Lottery ticket sales, that this will equate to around £150million of BIG’s income being reallocated to arts, sports and heritage each year.

13. In addition, DCMS is also consulting on a new Policy Direction for BIG. DCMS has stated that it is their wish that BIG’s funding remains flexible so that we can continue to fund different partnerships that benefit local communities but that they want to ensure that our funding is focussed on the VCS. As part of that consultation we are seeking clarity on whether this new policy direction would limit our ability to fund statutory bodies (as in our Parks for People programme with Heritage Lottery Fund) or individuals (for example veterans through our Heroes Return 2 programme).

Example BIG funding of the Arts and Heritage

14. The range and quality of the community projects we fund, especially using arts and heritage projects to achieve outcomes for those in need, is reflected in the National Lottery Awards where BIG funded projects feature across a range of categories. This year 13 of the 21 short listed projects are BIG or Awards for All funded. Last year 5 out of the winning 7 projects were BIG funded, including Best Arts project.  Some examples of the kind of community projects related to arts and heritage that we fund, and our different approaches to funding, are outlined below.

15. Village SOS – The Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre


· This year Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre was awarded £433,840 through our Village SOS programme. The funds will be used to refurbish a local disused building to create the Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre that would encourage tourism, provide employment opportunities and generate income. The centre will provide workshop and exhibition space for local artists and a number of other rooms and training areas such as a training kitchen. As a historic place with many historical and listed buildings Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre hopes to build on Caistor’s strengths and attract more visitors from the local areas and from further afield. There are also plans for the centre to also include a cinema and a small community library.  

· The Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre is one of six projects to win funding through Village SOS – a scheme funded by Big Lottery Fund and supported by the BBC that aims to inspire a rural revival across the UK. Village SOS is responding to the plight of rural villages, and is supporting new community-led business ventures that will breathe new life into their areas, create new jobs and improve the quality of life for local people.

· Helping the villagers through the journey will be their ‘Village Champion’ Charlotte Hastings, who will move into Caistor for a year and use her experience to support the villagers in getting their community initiative up and running. Her business expertise lies in marketing and project management having worked for the British Fashion Council to organise London Fashion Week. The villagers chose to work with Charlotte from a pool of experts found through a nationwide search by the BBC and Enterprise UK. She has been working with the Caistor project since November last year to develop their idea into a standout business proposal. The BBC is following the stories of the new rural enterprises from start up to trading for a major BBC One series. A major learning campaign will be launched alongside the series to enable other villages to use the learning and enthusiasm from the programme to set up their own community enterprises.

16. Living Landmarks – Funding A World Heritage Site

· Three projects were successful in their bids to obtain grants of between £22 and £25 million through the Living Landmarks programme in 2007. One was Heartlands, a World Heritage Site.

· The Heartlands project is a community-led vision to transform one of Cornwall’s most derelict areas into a truly inspirational cultural landscape by turning a former mining site into a World Heritage Site and new parkland. The site will include formal gardens, play space, performance space for events and new cycle trails. This will be complemented by public art including water features, sculptures and contemporary architecture, complementing the Grade II Listed Robinson’s Shaft mine complex near to the village of Pool.

17. Parks for People

· The Parks for People programme is a joint initiative between the Big Lottery Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund. BIG contributed up to £90million to this programme that builds on the two Lottery Funds' shared commitment to bring improvements to local environments by making a lasting impact on the lives of local people and the places where they live. Parks for People is an excellent example of Lottery Distributors working together to achieve shared outcomes. Although a significant number of applicants to this programme are Local Authorities the programme is open to all not for profit organisations.

18. Community Arts Projects

· Venture Arts Ltd in Manchester was awarded £157,000 in December 2005 though BIG’s Reaching Communities programme. Venture Arts provides a series of arts and crafts workshops for adults with learning difficulties, enabling them to have a more independent and stimulating life and build their confidence and self esteem. The development of the project will improve the basic skills and promote greater social interaction within the community for adults with learning difficulties.

· The Artworks Creative Together project in Bradford was awarded £255,001 over 4 years through our Family Learning programme. Creative Together is a project aimed at helping families enjoy learning together. Artworks brings adults and children together through a fun programme of arts and creative activities that works to bring together the family through inspired learning activities. Traditional teaching can be off-putting for many, but Creative Together’s hands-on approach will break down the barriers to being able to learn together, as a family - by being fun, accessible and inclusive. Through a fun 10-week creative programme children and adults will work together to learn new skills, gain confidence in their abilities, and adopt new approach to learning in family life. Artworks will work with 120 families on a programme of creative activities lasting up to 10 weeks, which forms the basis of the techniques the families will take away with them. By the end of the programme each family will have gained new technical skills and developed a range of techniques, resources and contacts to continue using as a family. The project will engage family groups who have a child excluded or at risk of exclusion from school; are from specific ethnic minority groups; families with a child or adult with a disability, and families living in defined economically deprived areas.

· Churt Parish Council in Farnham received £5,000 from our Awards for All programme. Churt Parish Council held two exhibitions about the history of the parish. The exhibitions included information and pictures about the history of local events, buildings and life in the village from past to present.  Local groups including the WI, over 60's social group and school children all contributed to the displays giving everyone in the village a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Churt.


19. Whilst not being a core funder of the arts or heritage, BIG has made a significant contribution to community projects working in these areas, especially when arts and heritage are a means of bringing communities together or engaging people to help address local issues, needs or concerns.

20. Positive community outcomes from our funding may include: opportunities for training, employment and skills; reduced isolation; ownership and control of assets leading to increased sustainability; greater sense of pride in local neighbourhoods and increased civic participation.

21. Our distinction therefore from other Lottery Distributors (Heritage Lottery Fund and the country Arts Councils), is our focus on community and grass roots projects. However, we have also funded a number of large capital projects and national initiatives that will have a positive impact on the artistic and heritage makeup of the UK for years to come.

22. Changes in Lottery policy will mean BIG will see a reduction in the percentage of Lottery funding received with a corresponding increase going to arts, sports and heritage. However, as an outcomes funder, we plan to continue to fund community arts and heritage projects that demonstrate that they provide an effective means of helping, supporting and enabling people and communities.

September 2010