National Lottery Community Fund launches its new strategy

Article date
12 June 2023
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

The new strategy will cover the next seven years (2023 to 2030) with plans to invest more money in grassroots projects across the UK starting this year.

In what is being characterised as ’the biggest change in National Lottery funding for a generation’, the UK’s largest community funder has announced that it will double the amount of funding available to grassroots projects.

With the aim of strengthening society by creating resilient communities that are more inclusive and sustainable, National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has released its seven-year strategy, “It starts with community”. During this period, it is expected that at least £4 billion of lottery funding will be distributed across the UK.

The strategy was formed over a year-long process comprising 18,000 interactions with people and organisations and focuses on four key missions. These are to support communities to:

  • Connect. Support communities to come together.
  • Be environmentally sustainable.
  • Help children and young people to access resources and experiences that help them thrive.
  • Enable people to live healthier lives.

At the core of the strategy are the following principles, which will guide funding decisions and ways of working:

  • An equity-based approach to tackle inequality.
  • Supporting communities to build from their strengths.
  • Supporting what matters most to different communities.

The new strategy will see an increase in funding:

  • Awards for All – the maximum grant is being raised from £10,000 to £20,000 covering two years (currently one year).
  • A new £15 million programme is expected to open for applications ‘around August’ that will connect communities.
  • An additional £9 million will go to support the Climate Action Fund.

According to the NLCF, ‘there will be more announcements to come about new funding opportunities and programmes as [it] starts to work through the detailed delivery’.

There will also be an increased focus on strategic, long-term change and investment. Typically, funding will be for between one and five years, with flexibility to support some projects and approaches targeting longer-term or transformational change up to 10 years.

NLCF will remain flexible and receptive to funding project, capital, organisational, partnership and developmental costs depending on the needs of the organisation.

Commenting on the new strategy, NLCF’s Chief Executive, David Knott, 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 turbo charging our support for grassroots projects while also focusing our funding fire power 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.”

The above has been shared from Reading4Community 

The full strategy can be found on the NLCF website.