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Grants and Funding


National Lottery Community Fund - Reaching Communities

05 October 2021/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Large grants are available to voluntary and community organisations in England for projects that make positive changes in their communities.

Fund Information

Funding body:
National Lottery Community Fund
Maximum value:
Application deadline:
None specified


The Big Lottery Fund changed its name on 29 January 2019 to the National Lottery Community Fund. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes over £600 million a year to communities across the UK, raised by players of The National Lottery.

The aim of the programme is to support communities to thrive by funding projects that:

  • Build strong relationships in and across communities.
  • Improve the places and spaces that matter to communities.
  • Help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

Objectives of Fund

The funding is intended for projects that support communities to thrive by:

  • Building strong relationships in and across communities.
  • Improving the places and spaces that matter to communities.
  • Helping more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

Value Notes

Grants of over £10,000 are available for up to five years.

Who Can Apply

Applications will be accepted from:

  • Voluntary and community organisations.
  • Registered, exempt or excepted charities.
  • Charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs).
  • Not-for-profit companies limited by guarantee (must be a registered charity or have a not-for-profit "asset lock" clause in the articles of association).
  • Community interest companies (CICs).
  • Schools.
  • Statutory bodies (including local authorities, town, parish, or community council).
  • Community benefit societies.
  • Co-operative societies (must have a not-for-profit "asset lock" clause in their society rules and be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority).
  • Groups of organisations, as long as they are led by an eligible organisation.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals.
  • Sole traders.
  • Organisations based outside the UK.
  • Anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation.
  • Organisations that look to make profits and share these profits privately - including companies limited by shares, organisations without the right asset locks or organisations that can pay profits to directors or shareholders.
  • Organisations without at least two unconnected people on the board or committee.
  • Activities that generate profits for private gain.
  • Religious activity (although religious organisations will be considered if they are providing benefit for the wider community).
  • Activities that replace government funding (eg, school activities that happen during normal teaching hours).
  • Activities that benefit individuals, rather than the wider community.
  • Political activities.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Loan repayments.
  • Topping up of organisation reserves.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for projects that work to make positive changes in their community. “Communities” can be people living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences. Projects that can test new approaches to issues in the community are encouraged.

To be eligible for funding projects should:

  • Involve people and communities from the start.
  • Build on people’s strengths.
  • Be connected in their community.

During the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the Reaching Communities programme is supporting people and communities most adversely impacted by the crisis. Organisations can apply for funding to:

  • Continue to deliver activity - whether the community needs crisis response, recovery or business as usual activity.
  • Change and adapt, becoming more resilient to respond to new and future challenges.

The grants can be used for the following costs:

  • Direct costs associated with delivering activities in the community, including:
    • Project staff.
    • Materials.
    • Equipment.
    • Room hire.
    • Volunteer expenses.
    • Project evaluations.
  • Organisational development, including:
    • Business planning.
    • Testing new ways of working.
    • Staff training and development.
    • Developing governance and leadership.
    • Tech or IT upgrades/purchases.
    • Developing and sharing impact and learning.
    • Increasing capacity to support collaboration and partnership working.
  • Core/fixed costs to support the day-to-day running of the organisation, including:
    • Core salaries.
    • Rent.
    • Utilities.
    • Equipment.
    • Purchasing, refurbishing or developing of land and buildings.



How To Apply

Applications may be submitted at any time.

Funding proposals can be submitted using the online application form on the National Lottery Community Fund website or applicants can send an email or video to their regional funding officer (details are on the National Lottery Community Fund website).

Organisations will then be contacted by the National Lottery Community Fund within 12 weeks of submitting a proposal to discuss the next steps of the application process.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Funding Team
    National Lottery Community Fund
    1 Plough Place
    EC4A 1DE
    Tel: 0345 4 102030
    Email: [email protected]

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