The Big Lottery Fund has awarded more than £1.35million to over 30 groups delivering LGBT work in Scotland in the past 3 years.

They are described as a ‘lifeline’ for many LGBT organisations, making a significant contribution to the work of groups around the country.

The organisation is also the primary funder of LGBT Pride events in Scotland, providing over £50,000 of funding for 5 separate events this year alone.

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said:

“We’re proud to have supported LGBT communities across Scotland with £1.35million of National Lottery funding over the last three years.”

“The Big Lottery Fund wants to make communities stronger and more vibrant, and empowering LGBT groups to support people in their local communities is a vital part of achieving this ambition.”

“The work we have funded has helped to bring people together and create new social connections, and built people’s confidence and self-esteem.”

Lottery funds have supported larger organisations, including LGBT Youth Scotland with a grant of almost £400,000 in 2016, and LEAP Sports with almost £150,000 in 2017.

A number of smaller grants of £10,000 or under have supported the valuable work of other equality organisations such as Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Plus, Resistance Roller Derby Glasgow, Equality Network, Stonewall and Pink Saltire.

Funding to support Pride happen in Fife, Grampian, West Lothian, Glasgow and Inverness has offered a a huge boost for these important cultural events. The funding has often been more than 50% of the total income, making Lottery funding critical to the success of the Pride movement here in Scotland.

Neale Hanvey, Co-convener of Fife Pride, who received funds to maintain their event in Kirkcaldy for only it’s 2nd year, told us:

“We’re immensely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for their generous award, without which the quality of our event would not have been to the outstanding standard we’ve been able to achieve so far. However, we recognise that we need to begin to build our capacity to become self-sustaining into the future, which will not be without significant challenges, as the cost of putting on such events is considerable.”

“It is very difficult to put a price on the importance of strengthening social inclusion in communities like ours – this funding is absolutely critical in helping bring about positive change for LGBT people and society generally. We hope the Big Lottery Fund continues to see the immense value in projects such as ours and continue to be a strong supporter of LGBT groups around Scotland.”

Pink Saltire Trustee, Will Watters, who conducted the analysis said:

“We’ve known for some time that the Big Lottery Fund was a key funder in the LGBT sector, but the value of their support is really quite substantial.  We know The Scottish Government contributes almost £1million a year to the important policy work of groups like Equality Network, Scottish Trans and LGBT Youth which is a huge contribution, but there are so many other great organisations doing their best for the community right across the country, often on a shoe-string budget. Without Lottery funding, many of these smaller groups would not survive and we perhaps wouldn’t be seeing the positive change in towns and cities as we are now.”

The Scottish Government agreed a 3-year funding deal with LGBT equalities organisations valued at around £990,000 a year from 2017 to 2020.  The organisations benefitting from equalities funding were Equality Network, Stonewall, Scottish Trans, LGBT Health, LGBT Youth and LEAP Sports.

Will continued:

“I’d really encourage any organisation who has ideas for LGBT work to consider the number of different funds available through the Big Lottery Fund – they have experts on hand to support and guide you through and the application process is pretty simple. You can also pick up the phone and contact Pink Saltire for some advice, we’re always happy to provide any help we can.”

For information on funding options from the Big Lottery Fund, click here.


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