The Big Lottery Fund has opened a new £45m grant fund to increase the capacity of organisations that support women and girls.
The grant-maker said the scheme, which does not have an official name but is being referred to as the women and girls initiative, will offer grants of between £150,000 and £750,000 to somewhere between 60 and 70 organisations in England over the next three to five years.
The BLF said the fund would support existing projects and new work to increase the provision of services for at-risk girls and women.
It said that projects for women and girls were under pressure because more people were looking for support while the projects themselves were suffering from reduced investment because of cuts.
It said successful projects must put women and girls at the centre of project planning and enable them to be involved in making decisions about where funding would go.
The scheme will be backed by a further £3.5m of funding that will be spent in areas including evaluation and sharing lessons learned.
Nat Sloane, chair of the Big Lottery Fund in England, said: “This is a great opportunity for the women and girls voluntary and social enterprise sector to let us know the key areas where money needs to be invested.
“While it has been positive to see that increased awareness is helping to break down taboos and enabling women to seek assistance, we know that voluntary organisations are in need of much greater financial support to sustain their work and be able to respond to increased demand. I hope that this new funding can unlock further ways of ensuring the sector is prepared for the future.”
Expressions of interest must be received by the BLF by 16 July.