The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) distributes over £600 million a year to communities across the UK, raised by players of The National Lottery.

The UK Fund is one of the first significant commitments as part of its new strategy, ‘It starts with community.’ Funding is intended to develop and expand community links by:

  • Strengthening relationships between people whose experiences of life have not been the same. For example, relationships between people of different ethnic backgrounds, generations, occupations or geographies.
  • Creating connections between online and offline worlds.
  • Helping to make sure people from all backgrounds can shape the future of their communities.

Grants of £500,000 to £5 million are available.

It is expected that most awards will be for two to five years, though funding for up to ten years may be considered.

Eligible projects must demonstrate that they:

  • Will benefit communities across the UK (or have the potential to) – this could be by sharing learning, influencing, collaborating, convening or delivering activity across and between UK countries.
  • Scale their impact – this might be by expanding into new locations, developing infrastructure, strengthening delivery or increasing reach.
  • Focus on equity – the funders are looking for projects that involve and benefit places, people and communities who experience poverty, disadvantage and discrimination.
  • Have a positive impact on the natural environment.
  • Share learning openly.

There is also interest in projects that have:

  • Potential for systems change.
  • An approach to learning.
  • A way to work with others.
  • A regenerative approach.

Grants can cover the following costs:

  • Staff costs, including sessional workers.
  • Development work (testing new ways of working, staff training and development, developing governance, tech or IT upgrades and purchases, sharing learning).
  • Transport.
  • Utilities and running costs.
  • Volunteer expenses.
  • Learning and evaluation.
  • Equipment.
  • Capital costs, though these are unlikely to make up a significant part of the budget.
  • Costs associated with delivering the project in other languages.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from 4 August 2023. From 17 July 2023, there will be twice-weekly information webinars. Applicants must register to attend one of these before they can apply.

The UK Fund | The National Lottery Community Fund (

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