Opinion Former Article

Big Lottery: Big appoints new CEO

The Biggest of the Lottery good cause distributors, the Big Lottery Fund has announced the appointment of Peter Wanless as the organisation's new Chief Executive.

Making the announcement, the Chair of the Fund, Sir Clive Booth, said Peter Wanless will take over from current Chief Executive of the Fund Stephen Dunmore when he steps down at the end of January 2008.

Sir Clive welcomed Peter to the Fund, which distributes half of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK, rolling out around £630 million in funding each year.

Sir Clive said he looked forward to working with Peter, who joins the Fund from the Department for Children, Schools and Families where he was leading the creation of a new Families Group having until recently been Director of School Performance and Reform."

Sir Clive added that the appointment followed a highly competitive process: "I am sure Peter will be a worthy successor to Stephen Dunmore. He joins the Fund at an exciting and challenging juncture, as we move into a period of public consultation on our future programmes post-2009 and at a time when competition for our good cause funding has never been more intense."

Sir Clive took the opportunity of the new appointment to thank outgoing CEO Stephen Dunmore, who has directed Lottery funding through both the Big Lottery Fund and one of its predecessor bodies, the New Opportunities Fund for ten years: "Under Stephen's leadership, the BIG Lottery Fund has gone from strength to strength, breaking new ground in making funding more accessible, involving the public, and above all concentrating on making a difference at grass roots level particularly in the voluntary and community sector. It has been a privilege to have worked with him"

Peter Wanless added: "BIG is a hugely important organisation with the ability to transform communities and the lives of people in need, often in the most imaginative ways that directly involve the people themselves. The chance to work with third sector organisations to develop targeted solutions to local problems is of particular interest to me.

Stephen is a hard act to follow but I am really looking forward to ensuring that BIG builds on progress to date in ways that bring long lasting benefits to communities throughout the UK."

Biographical Notes:

Peter Wanless has been Director of Families Group at the Department for Children, Schools and Families since October 2007 where his role was to develop the cross-government strategy on families (parents and carers), covering both services that support families directly and those that deal with issues of family dysfunction and breakdown. The aim of the strategy will be to ensure that policy across Government is consistent and works in the best interest of the child.

Previous to this he was Director of School Performance and Reform where his responsibilities involved looking across the piece at the Government's agenda for school reforms in an effort to ensure that this is both coherent and deliverable.

Between 1998 and 2003 he was the Department's Director of Strategy and Communications.

Previously he worked at the Treasury operating in a range of roles including Head of Private Finance Policy and Principal Private Secretary to three Cabinet Ministers.

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572
Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030
Textphone: 0845 6021 659
Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • The Big Lottery Fund rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to Good Causes. As a result, over £20 billion has now been raised and more than 280,000 grants given out across the arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
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