National Lottery Community Fund Update

Posted by Christie McAlpine on 4th September 2020

The National Lottery Community Fund have announced upcoming changes to ensure they can continue to support the sector to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Some of the programmes will remain the same while others will become more focused on Covid-19 recovery. Here are the key changes:


  • National Lottery Awards for All and Young Start funds will remain open and unchanged. They are particularly interested in hearing from new projects for Young Start funding.
  • Improving Lives grants remain open, but will be shorter, quicker to access, and will fund a wider range of work focused on recovery from COVID-19.
  • Community-Led Activity grants remain open. They are currently reviewing these and will make any changes before the end of 2020.
  • COVID-19 response is still a priority across all funds– but they remain open to non-COVID-19 related work too.
  • There will be some further changes to priorities for both Improving Lives and Community-Led Activity before the end of 2020, but there will be no other large-scale changes to the main grants programmes until at least 2022.

Detail and deadlines:

Improving Lives

  • From October 1, 2020 the maximum available Improving Lives grant will be £200K over one to three years. It will be a single stage application.
  • They will only accept applications for more than £200k or more than 3 years until noon on Wed 30 September.
  • New priorities are in development, but these will expand the types of work they can currently fund rather than replace them.

Community-Led Activity grants

  • Community-Led Activity grants remain open. They are reviewing the fund to make sure it’s relevant for current situation, and will make any changes before the end of 2020
  • They plan to increase the maximum grant to £200K.

More details will be available on the changes to Improving Lives and Community-Led Activity in the next few months, we will let you know what these are once they have been confirmed.

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