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Latest update from the National Lottery Community Fund

We want to make sure communities in Scotland are able to access our significant National Lottery funds to help them respond to and recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Our funds will mainly continue to operate as before. But we have made some changes to help make sure our funds better support people and communities through COVID-19. These changes focus on broadening the type of work we can fund, but also mean funding is available for shorter periods and applications will be assessed quickly.

What is staying the same?

  • Our current funds will remain open for another 18-24 months, and will mainly continue to operate as before.
  • We can still fund all the types of project we could before – the changes we are making will expand the types of work we can support.
  • Our most popular fund, National Lottery Awards for All Scotland, remains unchanged, and will continue offering grants up to £10,000 for a wide range of community and sports projects.
  • Our Young Start fund for projects led by young people aged eight to 24 also remains open and unchanged.

What has changed?

We have made some changes to our Community Led and Improving Lives funds.

Our Community Led funding supports people in local areas to come together and improve their wellbeing, through grants of up to £150,000. The fund remains open as before, with these changes:

  • Grants will now be available for up to a maximum of three years
  • We will be happy to consider applications for shorter-term projects.
  • We will assess your application more quickly (approximately three months).

Our Improving Lives funding supports work that will help particular people facing challenging circumstances. Again, the fund will stay open, with a few changes:

  • Grants are available for up to three years and the  maximum grant size is £200,000.
  • We have expanded what we will fund. We will now fund work that:
    • supports children, young people and families currently experiencing challenging circumstances
    • supports people that have experienced abuse
    • tackles loss, isolation or loneliness
    • supports people that experience discrimination and/or works to challenge discrimination
    • supports people facing financial hardship
  • We will assess your application more quickly (as above, approximately three months).

Is there a separate application for COVID-19 responses?


We understand that everything we do now has been impacted by the pandemic so we no longer have a separate application process for applications specifically responding to the impact of COVID-19.

We expect to discuss how we might be able to support your response to the pandemic through our regular funds. We are also keen to help you build on some of the amazing community responses to the pandemic.

What else do I need to know?

We will continue to review our funds regularly over the next 18-24 months. We will keep you updated on any further changes we make.

If you are considering applying for a grant, please contact our Scotland team.

We would be more than happy to discuss your idea or answer any questions about the changes we have made to our funds.

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For advice and guidance on funding related issues and grant applications, please contact VANL's Funding and Sustainability Adviser, Grant McLean on 01236 748 011 or email
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Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire · ONE Wellwynd · 35 Wellwynd · Airdrie, North Lanarkshire ML6 0BN · United Kingdom

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