3 May, 2002
Disabled people and carers are to be made a priority group for funding by the National Lottery.
The move is part of a new Strategic Plan from 2002 to 2007 by the Community Fund (CF), which hands out cash to charity projects.
The CF has decided on a number of priority areas, which also includes older people.
Lady Brittan, chair of the Community Fund, said: "We've currently got less money, but we want to ensure that the money we do have works harder".
Paul Smith, executive director of the Spinal Injuries Association, said: "The CF is focussing very much on the work we are looking to do. It is a real boost for this organisation."
Meanwhile, charity bosses are celebrating after the CF also announced that it would make grants to meet "core costs" involved in running and managing charities. In the past, it has only funded specific projects run by charities.
It will now help pay for costs like supervisors' wages and rent. Lack of core funding has often caused many charities serious financial problems.
Stephen Bubb, chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, said this was a major breakthrough: "We can now say to other funders 'Come on, even the Community Fund meets core costs, so get your act together'".
The CF will not pay core costs for charities with an income of more than £10m. And organisations with an income of more than £5m will have to find 25 per cent of the cost of any large CF-backed project elsewhere.
But Kate Nash, director of national disability charity RADAR, which has a turnover of £1m, said the fact the CF was to focus funds on small charities would help organisations controlled by disabled people.
"Grass roots disability organisations, who traditionally have not been able to secure a slice of the cake, will find it easier to get money," she said.
She was concerned, however, that the CF's income is expected to fall from £287m at present to £215m in 2004. Income from the private sector is also unlikely to rise, she said.