THE National Lottery Community Fund has this week pledged to double the amount of funding available to grassroots projects in the biggest change in National Lottery funding for a generation. In unveiling its new 2030 strategy, the UK’s largest community funder has revealed plans for investment coming as soon as this year to meet its ambition to tackle some of the UK’s biggest social issues.
Key to this announcement is its commitment to ‘turbo charging’ support for grassroots projects through its flagship small grants programme, National Lottery Awards for All. It will be doubling the amount groups can apply for from £10,000 to £20,000 and doubling the term from 1 year to 2 years with these changes coming into effect from Autumn this year.
This will see its grassroots investment ramp up to more than £1 billion of new funding for communities over the next seven years.
Secondly, it has earmarked £15 million for a new programme (opening around August) that will connect communities, as well as an additional £9 million boost going into its popular Climate Action Fund, taking the total investment in climate action to £35 million this year.
Both moves demonstrate The National Lottery Community Fund’s drive to start delivering immediately against its new strategy and to focus funding on four key missions where it wants to make the biggest impact. These are to support communities to come together; to be environmentally sustainable; to help children and young people thrive; and enable people to live healthier lives.
The new seven-year strategy, ‘It starts with community’, will underpin efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030.
The funder has committed to taking an equity-based approach to its work going forward, investing most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination.
‘It starts with community’ is the result of extensive consultation and feedback over the last 15 months involving over 18,000 people and organisations across a spectrum of different stakeholders.
Unveiling the new strategy, Chief Executive David Knott says the organisation is building upon a great UK success story – The National Lottery – and almost 30 years of experience in supporting the UK’s diverse communities through good times as well as recent challenges, such as COVID and cost of living concerns.
With over 75,000 projects backed and £3 billion invested in the last 5 years, he says that the funder will continue to be based in the communities it serves and bring to bear what it sees and learns.
David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“This is about building on a 30-year UK success story – the next chapter starts here and it starts with community. Our new strategy will see us turbocharging our support for grassroots projects while also focusing our funding firepower on four of the big social issues facing the UK and its communities today.
“Why? Because the money we plough into grassroots reaches the most people and mobilises the most volunteers out of all our funding, and because we’ve listened carefully to different communities and stakeholders to understand where our grants can make the biggest impact.
“We want to thank the 18,000 people and organisations who have helped shape our direction of travel until 2030 – your passion, innovation and generosity have inspired us and set us on a great path for supporting communities across the UK for the years to come.”
The new strategy can be seen at: tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/itstartswithcommunity. There will be more announcements to come about new funding opportunities and programmes as The National Lottery Community Fund starts to work through the detailed delivery.
The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players, who raise over £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, last year The National Lottery Community Fund awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK.
To find out more, please visit: www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk.