lottary response

Funding during COVID-19

We’re prioritising funding for communities affected by COVID-19

For now we’re prioritising funding projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re reviewing the situation on an on-going basis and will share any updates or developments on our website. We have limited funding to support as many organisations as possible. So please only ask for what you need to support communities during this crisis.

You can still apply for some of our existing funding, but it might take a bit longer to get it from us.

We’re working with specialist partners to reach specific groups as quickly as we can. And we’re supporting our existing grantholders during COVID-19 too.

What types of projects we can fund

Funding in England
We’ve closed the Government allocation of funding to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to new applications and should be finished distributing these funds by the end of October 2020. But you can still apply for National Lottery funded grants to help your community through COVID-19.

In England, we’re focusing on funding organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Funding in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we’re prioritising:

  • organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19
  • organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of COVID-19
  • organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19.

We’re committed to protecting the people who benefit from our funding
We’re responsible for promoting the welfare and wellbeing of all groups, and working to keep them safe. Anyone who applies for our funding needs understand our safeguarding policy. If you have any questions, get in touch with your funding officer.

Our funding is public money
So it can’t be used to give organisations an unlawful advantage over others. You can find out more about our COVID-19 State Aid compliance guidance to check you meet our requirements.

Learning and insight about COVID-19

We’re bringing together what we’re learning from our grantholders about their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Lottery Community Fund gives grants to organisations in the UK to help improve their communities. The money awarded comes from the UK National Lottery.

Covid-19 – The National Lottery Response

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of whom will be supporting the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK during the current coronavirus crisis.

The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times.

By playing The National Lottery, you are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combating the impact of Covid-19 on local communities across the UK.

Please read on for the latest updates, and we will continue to add information as we receive it.


Arts Council England has announced £160 million of emergency funding available for organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis. They have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure. Find out more.


The National Lottery Community Fund has accelerated £300m of National Lottery funding in the next six months in order to get money to where it needs to be. Read more.


The National Lottery Heritage Fund are making £50 million available through their Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector as an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis. The money will be invested where it is needed most, by providing immediate-term funding for organisations supporting the UK’s rich heritage and safeguarding valued heritage sites. They are also continuing to support 2,500 heritage projects which benefit people and communities across the country. Read more.


Sport England has announced £210 million of funding, with £172 million of that coming from National Lottery funding, to help the sport and physical activity sector. Find out about the breakdown of the funding here.


As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic increasingly takes its toll on the UK independent industry, the BFI is committed to offering support to the individuals and businesses most in need, and working to ensure the industry can continue to thrive on the other side of this crisis. We have partnered with The Film And TV Charity to open the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund with support from the National Lottery and industry.
Read more.

Although Olympic and Paralympic sport has taken a back seat during the ongoing covid-19 crisis, it has not stopped elite sport as a whole playing its part to help the UK public.


Together with the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales have launched a £7 million Arts Resilience Fund for Wales, with £5.1 million coming from National Lottery derived sources. The fund will provide support for arts funded individuals and organisations to help them through the Coronavirus crisis


Sport Wales has identified an initial fund of up to £8.1million (with £4.75 million of the fund derived from National Lottery sources and the rest from Welsh Government) to create a Sport Resilience Fund. This money will be used to support sports clubs and their well-established partner networks who are so vital in ensuring the nation is able to remain active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings


The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened a £500,000 National Lottery funded Artists Emergency Programme for freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers. Grants of up to £5,000 each will be used to support the research, design and future presentation of arts event and performance, including resources to help artists develop their creative practices. Find out more here:


Many of our National Lottery funded projects are going above and beyond to keep people active, entertained and healthy. READ MORE

The National Lottery response to supporting people, projects and communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ]]>