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“I love the farm – it’s a great, inclusive place. It’s helped me get my mojo back.”

March 15, 2018

A community farm in Swansea that was on the brink of closure less than 12 months ago is celebrating the news that National Lottery money will open up opportunities for its community. Thanks to National Lottery players, Swansea Community Farm have received £99,992 to support new people in the community with mental health difficulties into volunteering and training opportunities with the help of the animals at their farm. Read more…

60 seconds with our Funding Officers…

March 7, 2018

There are currently many opportunities to join our team for people who are passionate about supporting communities in Wales. So to give people an idea what it’s like working at the Big Lottery Fund, we interviewed Liz, a Funding Officer in our Cardiff office, and Hywel, a Funding Officer in our Newtown office, to give you the inside scoop…

Tell us a bit about what the Big Lottery Fund does.

Liz: The Big Lottery Fund distributes the funds raised by people playing the National Lottery.  We give out money to organisations who make a real difference to people throughout the UK.

What made you decide to join the Big Lottery Fund?  

Liz: I started with the fund five years ago as a temp. Before I was told about the job I didn’t know much about the Fund and what they did so I had to do some research to find out. I have always chosen to work in the third sector because it’s important to me that my job makes a difference. Everything I found showed that the Fund was working to improve the lives of people who are most in need and I wanted to be part of that.

Hywel: I have been with the Fund for over 18 years. I was at a stage in my life when I fancied a new challenge with regular hours. I had previously been self-employed and a director for various manufacturing companies for over 20 years. The thought of giving out money and helping others for a living as opposed to chasing money from creditors appealed greatly. Read more…

A new approach to funding with Helping Working Families

February 26, 2018

The Big Lottery Fund in Wales has launched Helping Working Families, offering grants up to £500,000 over four years for projects working with families affected by ‘in-work’ poverty to improve their lives.  More or less what you would expect from the Fund?  But something is different as Andy Brown, Funding Manager for Helping Working Families at the Big Lottery Fund told us:

“Funding the development phase of a project is a departure for us. Increasingly we have been asking organisations applying to our grant schemes to show how they are putting the people who will benefit in the lead when developing the project. We have been listening to feedback about how best we can help organisations and this programme offers a way for us to do that. We hope that organisations will embrace this opportunity and make an application to us.” Read more…

National Lottery Awards for All: Grants for projects led by communities, for communities.

February 19, 2018

Cylch Meithrin-51.jpgNational Lottery funding can help you to make a difference in your community. National Lottery Awards for All offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters the most to people and communities. We will fund organisations with great project ideas that:

  • Shape the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • Bring more people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
  • Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

We also ask that projects are led by the communities they will benefit. This means the people you’ll be working with will be meaningfully involved in the development, design and delivery of your project. Funding Manager Gareth Williams tells us what this means and how you can encourage people to engage with your project: Read more…

Thanks a million! £5.4million of National Lottery cash to transform 5 lucky communities.

February 15, 2018

Listen to the incredible reaction of Lynne Thomas of Cardiff University as the Big Lottery Fund surprise her with the news of their £1million grant.

Cardiff University are one of five projects receiving a total of £5.4million of National Lottery money from the Community Asset Transfer 2 programme to transform disused spaces into local landmarks and community hubs. Read more…

Applying for a Big Lottery Fund grant in 2018?

January 18, 2018

Are you considering applying for a National Lottery grant to support your community this year? In our latest video, Menter Iaith Fflint a Wrecsam and Innovate Trust share their experience of accessing National Lottery funding:



Menter Iaith Sir Fflint a Wrecsam received £4,867 from National Lottery Awards for All for their Welsh Language Magi Ann project. They developed six apps to support non-Welsh speaking parents to read books in Welsh with their children. The project has been extremely successful winning the best educational project at the National Lottery Awards.

Innovate Trust received £248,713 through People and Places to help people with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems.  The project will work to help individuals build on their strengths and gain skills and confidence through outdoor conservation work, one of the aims of the project is to help them live independently within their communities. Read more…

Bright Future ahead for coastal areas with over £3m available

December 21, 2017

With Year of the Sea ahead of us for 2018 there’s even more reason for the beautiful Welsh coast to celebrate as a new round of the Coastal Communities Fund will be opening in the New Year. The Welsh Government has already awarded a gigantic £12m across the lifetime of the programme and now over £3m will be available for projects looking to support and rejuvenate our stunning coastline’s future.

The Coastal Communities Fund has always focused on economic regeneration and job creation and with the new round we will be looking to build even further on the incredible success of previous projects. All organisations, including the private companies, not-for profits, and the public sector, with exciting ideas to create or protect existing jobs are eligible to apply and applications from all sectors of the economy, from tourism to agriculture and boats to buildings, are warmly encouraged.  All essential capital and revenue costs for the running of the project can be included in the grant and in the past this has ranged from everything including milk delivery vans to surfing and sailing lessons.

Which projects get funding will be based on the greatest economic impact relative to the settlement size to ensure the biggest benefit possible for the area. Previous projects have pushed both sides of the funding scales with grants from as little as £50,000 to Surf More South Wales to establish and support a new surf school at Aberavon beach, to the maximum £300,000 for Bridgend County Council to connect various attractions in Porthcawl through a new cycle scheme.

Other previously funded projects that have gone on to flourish thanks to Coastal Communities funding include Menter Aberteifi Cyfyngiedig who used their £109,974 grant to re-establish and develop the magnificent Cardigan Market Hall as a sustainable business hub for traders and micro-enterprises. Directly creating 3 part-time and 1 full-time roles while supporting 26 local businesses, the project is a testament to the fantastic potential of coastal enterprise.

With every £1 of investment creating an additional 98p for the local economy and coastal areas the benefit of a kick-start from the Coastal Communities Fund can ensure long-term gain for the coastline. Over 1000 jobs are forecasted to be created due to the existing investment and with even more to come with the latest round of funding it’s sure to be a sunny future on our coasts.

More information, including guidance notes and application forms, will shortly be available on our website and you can keep up to date on any announcements by following the link below

We’re saying #ThanksToYou

December 8, 2017

National Lottery players raise over £30 million for good causes every week, yet many people don’t know about the huge impact that playing the National Lottery has on their local community.

To say thank you for their support, over a week, we shared stories and achievements on social media using the hashtag #ThanksToYou from brilliant projects made possible by National Lottery players, including a very special surprise for players in Bridgend.

Read more…

Coastal Communities Fund: Year of the sea

December 4, 2017

Visit Wales has named 2018 Year of the Sea, and in case you need any more reason to visit our incredible coastline you can choose from a number of fantastic projects below which have been funded through the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) programme.  Read more…

Hafal: A Guest-led mental health recovery centre

November 30, 2017

9.jpgHafal is one of the largest charity providers for people with serious and enduring mental health issues in Wales. It is founded on the belief that people who have direct experience of mental illness know best how services should be delivered. In 2013 Hafal received £291,174 of National Lottery funding to develop the Gellinudd Recovery Centre in the Swansea Valley over four years. The Centre was the UK’s first in-patient mental health centre designed by service users and their carers. We spoke with Alison Guyatt, manager of the Centre about how they have put working together with Guests at the heart of their work.

Two years into her retirement from a 37-year career as a senior NHS nurse, Alison was starting to get bored when she heard about the plan to build a Centre to support the recovery of people with serious mental health issues in Gellinudd. She contacted Hafal, just “being nosey” but went on to be recruited to help set up the Centre. Alison now works as its Director. Read more…