National Lottery Community Fund awards £752.6m to support communities throughout pandemic

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has awarded £752.6m throughout FY2020/21 to support communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic
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The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has awarded £752.6m throughout FY2020/21 to support communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Publishing its Annual Report 2020/21, the fund awarded 20,217 grants throughout the year ending March 31 2021. 

Breaking down geographic categories, England received £555.2m across 15,680 grants, Scotland received £76.9m across 2,258 grants, Wales received £38.1m across 921 grants and Northern Ireland received £37m across 1,199 grants. 

Highlighting the importance of National Lottery players in relation to aiding local communities, the fund noted that every single political constituency has seen lottery funding funnelled into local community projects and 80% of all wards. 

Stressing the importance of helping projects during the pandemic, the NLCF stated that 89% of all grants given throughout the year were specifically allocated to help organisations survive the impact of COVID-19. 

The Chair of the Community Fund, Blondel Cluff CBE, commented: “I see the Herculean achievement made by the Fund in attending to the needs of communities throughout the UK during a global catastrophe.

“I also saw the immense and unique power of community. At a time when personal interaction was curtailed in the interest of public health and safety, we witnessed countless community organisations successfully supporting the most vulnerable. I am proud of the Fund’s support for this endeavour, delivering National Lottery grants to a myriad of charities and community groups across the UK, while partnering with local governments, devolved administrations and central government.”

The fund assessed its performance against its seven key performance indicators, assuring stakeholders that it is on target with all seven. 

It was noted that the NLCF had a customer satisfaction rate sitting at 83% against a target of 80%, whilst 69% of staff regard the fund as a good place to work, beating the initial goal of 65%. 

CEO David Knott added: “The National Lottery Community Fund has stood by communities through this crisis with record delivery. In the last 12 months, £753m of National Lottery and emergency COVID-19 funding have supported communities across the UK. The Fund has issued over 20,000 grants – a record. 

“Together with continuing existing work, the emergency response saw us process a significant increase in applications in some portfolios, a 40% increase in awards and a 23% increase in total funding.”

Cluff noted that the fund is increasingly engaging with granting funds to organisations related to the environment, with £59m of funds going towards environmental groups through 736 grants. 

Concluding her message, Cluff stated: “Our work is for the benefit of everyone and will continue to be deployed in reaching those communities that are hardest hit by the pandemic to ensure that no one is left behind. I am confident that despite the pain and suffering we have endured over the past year, by working together we will all fare better.”