Big Lottery Fund to donate £15m to digital skills programmes

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“Competition will be intense”

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has said that it will be donating £15 million to develop a programme with charity Go ON UK which will fund projects around the country that aim to tackle the digital divide in local communities – it is estimated that 16 million people in the UK lack basic online skills while 7.4 million people have never been online.

According to BIG chief executive Peter Wanless, the funding will go to “organisations who can demonstrate most convincingly to us how they will use the cash to turn the disconnected and disinterested into confident users of online services.”

He added that “We are alerting people now so potential applicants can develop the strongest and most convincing partnerships and plans that they can. We expect to fund only a handful of significant projects, so competition will be intense.”

BIG previously donated GBP100,000 to Go ON Liverpool which was deemed a success, reducing the number of offline people in the city by 55% in 18 months.

Go ON UK chair, Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox is also planning a digital skills delivery strategy in the North East of England in October.

She said that “The Big Lottery Fund’s digital skills investment helps us deliver on Go ON UK’s objective to secure vital investment to build the digital skills of people and organisations across the UK. But we need other organisations to play their part and follow suit.”

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