Lottery bodies will plan joint comms efforts

The set-to-be merged lottery handout bodies, the New Opportunities Fund and The Community Fund, are to discuss joint handling of PR at a meeting later this month.

Proposals, particularly regarding internal comms, will be presented at the first meeting of the newly set up joint steering committee of the two bodies.

NOF head of communications Linda Quinn confirmed a draft proposal will be presented to the committee on how best to ‘cascade information internally’ to both sets of staff.

Her counterpart at the CF, deputy director of communication and policy Penny Mordaunt, and Quinn, both said that further joint PR work is expected, surrounding consultation with the general public regarding the merger.

A white paper on details of the merger is expected to be published this summer. The general public will then be asked to submit views on the best way to manage the distribution of lottery funds.

Previous consultation ahead of the white paper was directed more at the voluntary sector and other lottery money recipients.

Proposals to merge the two bodies were announced by culture secretary Tessa Jowell earlier this year. Both bodies had reportedly held off agreeing to the merger due to concerns within voluntary and community groups over the independence of a merged body.

Last month, however, both bodies announced they now approve of the move.

CF hands out money to the charity and voluntary sectors, while the NOF, whose chair is Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, covers handouts to education, health and the environment. Together, both bodies account for around half of all lottery handouts.

Mordaunt, a former Conservative Party head of broadcasting, joined the CF two months ago after quitting the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where she was director of communications, to set up a centre-right political website. This was put on hold due to the Iraq war, but is set to launch later this year.

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