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March 15, 2007

Big Lottery Fund announces Scotland committee and pioneering urban grant

The Committee that will take devolved decisions on Big Lottery Fund grants in Scotland has been named, along with the announcement of the first urban project to receive funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets scheme.

Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund announces Scotland committee and pioneering urban grant





The Committee that will take devolved decisions on Big Lottery Fund grants in Scotland has been named at an event in Edinburgh tonight (Tuesday 13 March).


At the same event, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee Chair, Alison Magee, also announced the first urban project to receive funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets scheme.


“The people of Leith are now engaged in the same exciting process as the crofters of Gigha, Assynt and South Uist,” she said of the Out of the Blue Project, as it was awarded £244,000. “Community ownership is alive in Leith,” added Mrs Magee.


The outgoing leader of Highland Council will lead the Big Lottery Fund Scotland committee which for the first time will make all of the decisions on how Scotland’s Big Lottery Fund money is spent. The Big Lottery Fund has £257 million to invest in Scotland’s communities before 2009 through its Investing in Communities portfolio.


The committee will make awards for the next three years through a range of BIG programmes.


It will also be responsible for strategy, policy, planning and management of programmes in Scotland within an overall strategic and financial framework determined by BIG’s UK Board. The committee will monitor spend on programmes and report on the difference that Lottery funding had made to ensure outcomes are achieved.  BIG has given an undertaking that 60-70 per cent of its £2.3 billion good causes budget between 2006 and 2009 will go to voluntary and community organisations.


England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own country committees under a new BIG structure that devolves grant awarding and administration to countries.  BIG UK board members for countries chair each of the committees.


Mrs Magee was joined at the event at the National Trust for Scotland in Edinburgh by Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Sir Clive Booth, the Big Lottery Fund’s UK Chair, where she announced the Committee team. The Scotland Committee members are Tim Allan, Elizabeth Cameron, Helen Forsyth, David Green, Alistair Grimes, Maureen McGinn and Lucy McTernan.


Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, said: “I am pleased to welcome this dedicated team of talented individuals on board. They will draw on their vast and varied experiences to make informed decisions about which good causes in Scotland will receive Big Lottery funding.”


Mrs Magee, added: “Each week the Big Lottery Fund distributes £1 million pounds in Scotland alone. As the Scotland Committee, we therefore have a huge responsibility to make sure that this money goes to those projects and areas where it is needed most.


“I am delighted to be part of and to welcome this new team which will enable us to develop a distinct Scottish agenda and thinking as to how funding is spent here in Scotland.”


Mrs Magee also revealed details of the first Growing Community Assets grant to go to an urban project. She said: “I am delighted to announce tonight, an award of £244,000 to Out of the Blue in Leith, to refurbish and restore an old drill hall that will be transformed into a community asset.”


“This will include studios and workspace for individuals and groups, educational spaces, a café and a crèche.  Growing Community Assets builds on the success of the Scottish Land Fund. As many of you will know, the Scottish Land Fund gave communities in rural Scotland the means to bring local land and land assets into community ownership. Now with Growing Community Assets we can extend these benefits to urban communities. Out of the Blue are now engaged in the same exciting process as the crofters of Gigha, Assynt and South Uist.”


Out of the Blue Coordinator Rob Hoon, said: “The award from Growing Community Assets is a fantastic endorsement of the work we are doing to restore and refurbish the Out of the Blue Drill Hall as an asset for our community. The drill hall is a historically and architecturally significant building which we are transforming into an arts centre with a developing programme of exhibitions and cultural events alongside regular arts projects. For example, the ‘Park Life’ project is transforming a neglected local park through the engagement and enthusiasm of the local community. Additionally we are opening a community café as a further exciting resource and a training project for young people. We couldn’t be more delighted by the Big Lottery Fund’s decision to support us.”



Further information


Contact Landa Rolland at the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Press Office on 0141 242 1458 or 07789 033457

Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030

Textphone:  0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available at:




Biographies of the Scotland Committee


Chair, Alison Magee

Alison is the convener of Highland Council (2003-present) She has 20 years local government experience including four years as convener of Sutherland District Council. She has also served on Highland Health Board, was a member of the Scotland Office’s Commission on Boundary Differences and Voting Systems, and previously ran her own small business. She is a board member of Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise. Alison Magee is not a member of any political party and stands as an independent in her role as Convenor of Highland Council and she will not seek re: election in May 2007.


Tim Allen, Chair of Young Enterprise Scotland

Tim Allen has been on the Board of the charity Young Enterprise Scotland since 2003, and was appointed Deputy Chair in June 2005, and Chair in June 2006.  YES works with young people from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds – including care and prison – to provide routes into employment in business.  Tim was the youngest major in the Army in 1996, served with the UN in Cyprus, was Equerry to HRH the Duke of York, and has worked in the Diplomatic Service.  Since leaving the Army in 1998 he has pursued a career in banking, where he gained expertise in philanthropic investment, and has latterly moved into property development in Dundee.  He lives in Clackmannanshire.


Elizabeth Cameron, Director, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Elizabeth Cameron has been Director of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce since 2004, and before that was Director of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce since 1996.  She established the Scottish Youth Investment Fund to help young people into business and is a Director of the Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and has experience of social inclusion and regeneration having in the past chaired the Ferguslie Park Social Regeneration Company.  Liz represented the business community on the Scottish Parliament’s Ethic Minority and Labour Market Working Group.  She lives in Gourock.


David Green, retiring Chair of Crofters Commission

From his early career as a self-employed crofter running as small tourist industry and working as the driver of a snowplough in the 1980s, David Green rose to be Vice-Convener then Convener of The Highland Council.  Currently Chairman of the Crofter’s Commission and a Board Member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, he has had a strong involvement in rural community life for many years.  David Green lines in Ross-shire. 


Alistair Grimes, Director, Rocket Science UK Ltd

Alistair Grimes has had a long association with the social economy.  From involvement in the 1980s and 1990s with the Wise Group, which provided for unemployed people to gain access to work in carrying out energy saving improvements to council houses and serving as Chief Executive of Community Enterprise in Strathclyde from 1997 to 2005, as well as serving as Chair of the Scottish Credit Union Partnership, the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum, and Childcare Works, and well as a Committee Member of the Scottish Centre for Research into Social Justice and the McFadden Commission on Charity Law Reform. Based in Glasgow.


Helen Forsyth, Regeneration Director, Scotland, Places for People

Helen Forsyth was Chief Executive of Edinvar housing association from 1998 to 2004 at which point she took up her current post as Regeneration Director, Scotland, for Places for People. She has also served as a co-opted Board Member of Age Concern Scotland.  With extensive experience of tackling disadvantage throughout her career in health, care and housing, and a very strong commitment to achieving real change for poorer communities.  She lives in Duns in the Scottish Borders.


Maureen McGinn (Lady Elvidge), Chief Executive, Laidlaw Youth Project

A former senior civil servant running the Laidlaw Youth Project, which promotes partnership working between charities supporting children and vulnerable young people in Scotland, as well as being on the Board of Evaluation Support Scotland, Maureen McGinn has a track record of delivering policy solutions for complex social issues as well as experience of working with other funders.  She is based in  Edinburgh.


Lucy McTernan, Director of Corporate Affairs, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

Lucy McTernan has been a dedicated advocate for communities throughout her career at the centre of the voluntary sector in Scotland.  She has been a driving force behind recent developments in charity law and changes in public sector funding practice as well as increasing links between Scotland and the international voluntary sector through bring the CIVICUS Assembly to Glasgow.  She is based in Edinburgh. 


Source: Big Lottery Fund