Funder Spotlight - Climate Action Fund

Author: Amy Coates
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The Climate Action Fund is the National Lottery Community Fund’s (NLCF) commitment to help communities tackle climate change and become environmentally sustainable. 

This UK-wide funding is available for larger, multi-year projects with a minimum grant amount of £500,000. 

NLCF want to fund formal partnership projects that reach more people by either:

  • linking climate action to the everyday lives and interests of local communities. And inspiring them to take action. Or;
  • influencing communities at a regional or national level. Like linking up groups across locations. Or a campaign that inspires change across one country, or the whole UK.

They’re particularly interested in funding projects that involve people, places and communities experiencing poverty, discrimination and disadvantage. 

By climate action, NLCF mean how people can reduce the impact of human activities on the climate. Projects could also have a positive impact on the environment, or address mitigation and adaptation to prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change that’s already happened. 

The Climate Action Fund aims to fund up to 25 projects over the next 3 – 5 years. The minimum you can ask for is £500,000 and they expect to fund most projects for between £1 million and £1.5 million. 

Who can apply for funding

NLCF will only fund organisations working in formal partnership. This means that all of the partners should be working together towards an agreed purpose.

This includes partnerships that:

  • are based around a local area or region
  • cover one of the countries that make up the UK
  • cover the whole UK
  • are based on a shared theme or identity rather than a place
  • are new or already work together.

To get funding, a partner organisation must be a:

  • constituted voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO or SCIO)
  • not-for-profit company limited by guarantee – you must be a registered charity or have a not-for-profit ‘asset lock’ clause in your articles of association
  • community interest company (CIC)
  • school, college, university (as long as your project benefits and involves the wider local communities)
  • statutory body (including local authorities, town, parish or community councils)
  • community benefit society
  • co-operative society – you must have a not-for-profit ‘asset lock’ clause in your society rules and also be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

You can spend your funding on:

  • staff costs
  • volunteer expenses
  • general project costs
  • engagement activities
  • learning and evaluation, including sharing these with others
  • communications and campaigns
  • utilities or running costs
  • organisational development and management costs
  • costs to help you engage with and support communities, or smaller partner organisations
  • equipment
  • delivering your project in other languages, such as Welsh.

To discuss funding, you can email -

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