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Scotland Portfolio FAQs

Answers to your top questions about our new funding
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Here are answers to your top questions about our new funding. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, or would like to discuss anything further, we are always happy to hear from you.

Get in touch with our Scotland BIG Advice Team on advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk or 0300 123 7110.

  1. I have a Big Lottery Fund grant from one of your older funds, and it is coming to an end – can we apply for continuation funding?
    If what you’re doing fits with what we can fund through our current funds you might be able to apply for funding to continue or develop this activity. If you are thinking of applying, have a chat with your Big Lottery Fund funding officer, and they’ll keep you right.

  2. What’s the maximum amount we can apply for?
    We offer various sizes of grants in Scotland. For National Lottery Awards for All Scotland you can apply for up to £10,000. We also offer medium level grants of up to £150,000 and large grants over £150,000.

    Funding is limited and demand is high for our medium and large grants. This is particularly the case for our grants for improving lives, so we would encourage you to apply for less than the maximum amount. The average improving lives grant is around £120,000 at the medium grant level, and just over £400,000 at the large grant level. Improving lives funding is normally available up to £500,000. Larger requests are less likely to be funded. We will discuss this with you in advance of applying.

    Our Community Assets fund offers grants up to £1M.

  3. Do we have to have match funding?
    No. We can potentially fund up to 100% of your project. But for grant requests above £10,000 it’s usually a good idea to have at least some match funding in place, especially if you are applying for a higher amount of funding than average.

  4. When you say ‘grants for community-led activity’ do you mean communities of interest or geographical communities?
    Our medium grants for community-led activity are for geographically based communities at a village or neighbourhood level. However, we have other funding that can support ‘communities of interest’ or groups based around a common idea or theme, such as our grants for improving lives. If in doubt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch about your idea.

  5. Can we get funding for capital work?
    You can potentially include an element of capital costs – such as minor building refurbishment - in any application to us. However, most of our grants above £10,000 focus on funding the costs of running activities or services, and will only fund capital costs where these are specifically needed to deliver activities or services that we are also funding. The exception to this is for buildings or assets that will be community-owned and run, where we can potentially fund purchase or refurbishment costs alone.

  6. What funding is available for community-owned assets?
    Our Community Assets fund makes grants of up to £1M to help local communities take own and develop buildings or assets in order to address inequality or disadvantage in their area. Community Assets can fund larger scale capital work, but can also cover running costs. There is a lot of competition for this funding, and our budget means that we can only typically make 12-15 of these grants a year across Scotland.

    We also administer the Scottish Land Fund for the Scottish Government, alongside Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Community-led organisations across Scotland can apply to the Scottish Land Fund to help purchase assets that are important to their communities.

  7. Can we get funding for youth work?
    Funding is available through our grants for improving lives for activity which supports children, young people and families in challenging circumstances, so we could support activity around young people in specific challenging circumstances. However, this funding is unlikely to be suitable for general youth work. We also run the Young Start fund which focuses on youth work led by children and young people. This is currently paused to applications, and is planned to reopen in summer 2018.

  8. Can we get funding for employability work?
    Our grants for improving lives or grants for community-led activity will not cover work that is mainly focused on employability. We could potentially support an element of employability work as part of a wider application, but this would need to be focussed on the specific outcomes and types of activity that each fund can support.

  9. Can we get funding for advice work?
    Our grants for improving lives or grants for community-led activity are unlikely to cover work that is focused on giving general advice to people, particularly where this advice is usually a ‘one-off’. We could potentially support an element of advice work as part of an application, but this would need to be focussed on the specific outcomes and types of activity that each fund can support.

  10. Can we get funding for Scotland-wide activity?
    Our grants for community-led activity are for work at a very local level such as a town or neighbourhood. We also think it might be more challenging for Scotland-wide activity to demonstrate strong local connections under grants for improving lives. However, we’d encourage you to speak to us about your idea so that we can advise whether this, or any other funding, might be appropriate.

  11. Can we have more than one grant at a time?
    Yes - any organisation can have a maximum of one grant at a time from each of our different funding streams. In practice though it’s very unlikely that the same organisation would receive a grant from each of these streams at once, as they cover quite different types of work, and we aim to ensure a good spread of our funds. However, it is fairly common for organisations to have more than one grant from us at once. A local authority is treated as a single organisation.

  12. Can we apply for both medium and large grants for improving lives at the same time for the same activity?
    No, we’ll discuss which funding is most appropriate for you ask you to submit one application at a time. Funding is limited and we want to support as many groups as we can. If timescales are an issue we can provide advice on this and support you where we can.