NLCF announces largest expansion in funding for 30 years

Author: Amy Coates
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The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has announced the largest expansion in their funding for 30 years. 

NLCF, the largest community funder in the UK, has unveiled bold new three-year ambitions to support what matters most to communities across the UK, including:

  • More than 50% of all grants will go to communities experiencing greatest poverty and disadvantage.
  • At least 15% of funding will go to environmental sustainability projects.
  • The largest expansion of grassroots funding in three decades, with a target of reaching more than 80% of areas across the UK.
  • The primary focus of more than 90% of grants is on one of four community-led missions: supporting communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.

The ambitious targets are part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s new Corporate Plan for 2024-27, published following extensive work since the organisation introduced its new strategy - It starts with community - in June 2023. The new plan puts tackling inequality and taking an equity-based approach at the heart of everything, and the organisation is currently finalising a comprehensive review of its funding activities across the UK covering the allocation of more than £3bn of National Lottery funding. Last autumn, the Fund also delivered its most significant change to its flagship product. Since doubling the grant amount and duration for National Lottery Awards for All in November, first time applicants are up by 8% to 45%, with £62m going to grants over £10,000.

David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “This plan encapsulates the next three years of our strategy and coincides with a new chapter in The National Lottery story. It’s one that anticipates increasing returns to good causes, as this year we celebrate its 30th anniversary.

“We pledge to extend grassroots funding to communities across the UK, concentrating on reaching places that have not previously sought funding and staying rooted in the communities we serve. We will target seeing more than 80% of local communities apply for National Lottery funding. Representing communities from Bude to Ballyclare, Brynmawr to Bannockburn, this initiative is the largest expansion in National Lottery funding in the past three decades.

“This plan puts tackling inequality and taking an equity-based approach at the core of what we do. We receive an idea every three minutes, so we will support what matters most to different communities by targeting delivery across our four community-led missions and focusing on where there is greatest need. We’ll embed support for environmental action across all funding, dedicating 15% of funding for environmental sustainability and supporting projects to consider the environment even when it isn’t their main focus.”

The National Lottery Community Fund awards grants to strengthen society and improve lives across the UK, supporting activities that create resilient communities that are more inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Following a comprehensive review of the whole portfolio, The National Lottery Community Fund will implement a new grant budget and allocations formula for more than £3bn of National Lottery funding activities in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and across the UK, with the objective of maintaining clear and simple processes while enhancing accessibility and reach.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.

To find out more see the Corporate Plan.