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Making the Most of ‘People & Places’ Funding

July 21, 2016

When applying for any funding through the Big Lottery Fund, it’s important to remember that our Funding Officers take into account which projects are the most value for money. This is especially the case for the ‘People & Places’ programme.

The ‘People & Places’ programme funds capital, revenue and overheads costs in projects that can last for up to five years. Organisations can apply for between £5,001 and £1 million.

We always advise that the cost of your project be carefully considered, as applications asking for more money than is necessary are less likely to be successful. As such, we’ve brought together helpful tips for when you’re thinking about how much you’ll need to apply for:-

  • Detailed breakdown of costs. At Stage 1 of the application process, you only need to give a rough estimate of project costs, although by Stage 2, this will need to be a completely accurate summary. If your project requires specific services (for example, builders if you’re renovating a building), we’d recommend comparing prices from businesses in your area to ensure you’re getting the most competitive price. If the geographic location of the project also impacts on costs, then you’ll need to explain this.
  • Project duration. It can cost a lot more money to sustain a project over a longer period of time. It’s important to think about the realistic impact of your project – that is, would it actually benefit a larger group of beneficiaries over a smaller period of time? Staffing costs, particularly where professional skills are needed, may also impact on project length.
  • Specific details of the beneficiary group. Are the group hard to reach? Do they have complex needs? Successful projects will aim to make a positive impact on such groups by specifically demonstrating what changes would need to be made. You can use the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation to learn more about local issues (e.g. lack of transport, rurality etc.) in particular regions.
  • Evidence of need. Organisations should plan to undertake wide, varied and detailed consultations with potential beneficiaries, as well as with the local community in general. You’ll need to show that project has been developed from a grassroots perspective, and that there is a genuine and significant level of community interest.
  • Strategic working. You’ll need to show how you’re working alongside similar organisations and evidence the quality of service provided through such partnerships.

You’ll need to think carefully about the amount of funding you apply for, as this should accurately reflect the costs of the services you plan to provide.

Also, the higher the amount of money applied for, the greater the need to justify your project costs. You’ll especially need to demonstrate value for money should a project cost more than £500,000.

Whilst we can pay for all or some of your project costs, we still encourage you to secure some of your funding from other external sources, if you can. The likelihood of your organisation raising this additional funding will also be considered when our Funding Officers make their decisions.

If you’re still unsure about the strength of your application, then don’t be afraid to get in touch! You can either phone our Advice Team on 0300 123 0735, or email us at biglotteryfundwales@biglotteryfund.org.uk

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