What does this country need most – more recycling, better educated youngsters, stronger community spirit or new investment in science?
Channel 4 is following the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) as it asks the British public how they would spend 10 million pounds of lottery money. The results of this nationwide debate will help directly determine which projects or charities will benefit from a huge cash injection.
From caring for the world around them, to helping people learn the skills they need to make the most of their lives, to tackling local issues- for the first time, the general public are being asked to decide the themes that best represent their priorities for Lottery funding in the current climate.
The results will help BIG to find five inspirational projects across the UK, each to receive a multi-million Big Lottery Fund cash injection as part of its Millennium Now grant programme.
The entire process, from the canvassing of public opinion through to the distribution of that money will be followed for a five-part series (5 x 60 minutes) on Channel 4 called The Big Decision (working title).
The call-out launches on Monday 3 October. Channel 4 is assisting the Big Lottery Fund in capturing public opinion via a microsite (channel4.com/thebigdecision) and commissioning an Ipsos-Mori Poll.
Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt says: “For the first time people will be able to influence which aspect of community life in the UK could benefit best from this huge sum of Lottery money. This series will provide a fascinating insight into what people care about most passionately and provide the opportunity to make real changes for the better.”
Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Peter Ainsworth said: “The public have raised billions for good causes by playing the National Lottery and with this programme we want to spark a nationwide debate on the best use of Lottery money and the themes that best represent the needs and aspirations of this decade. By telling us what really matters to them, the public will have a real say in where £10million of BIG funding will go next year.”
The Millennium Now programme, builds on the findings of the Millennium Now report launched in May 2011 to mark the legacy of the Millennium projects ten years on. It will aim to fund inspirational projects reflecting the five Millennium themes:
Encouraging Environmental Sustainability
Investing in Education
Places – tackling issues related to rural areas, urban or coastal areas
Promoting Science, Technology and Health
To coincide with the launch of the debate, Channel 4’s religion and ethics strand, 4thought.tv will be broadcasting a week of films on the theme: ‘When it comes to charity, who should we decide to give our money to?’
The films will air each night after Channel 4 News from 10th October.