National Lottery Community Fund to focus all new grants on the coronavirus pandemic

The National Lottery Community Fund will funnel all new funding over the next six months into tackling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The grant-maker said all the funding decisions it would make over the next half a year – covering sums totalling up to £300m – would be devoted to addressing the Covid-19 crisis. 

It said it would also speed up the process of getting money to projects aimed at supporting communities through the pandemic and/or to organisations facing financial difficulties because of it. 

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the NLCF, said in a statement that the grant-maker would have to make some “tough choices” about how it distributed money quickly to those communities and organisations in most need. 

“We will do our best to be fair and true to our principles and to you,” she said. 

“We are doing this because we know it is critical right now to work harder as a funder to get cash out of the door and hope that by acting quickly we can help organisations at the forefront of the current crisis, when support is needed most.

“Should we get through this initial tranche of support with some funding left or circumstances change, we will move to set new priorities. 

“We know that this means some groups will not be able to access our funding over the coming months, and we will endeavour to return to our broader support as soon as we can.” 

The funder would continue to honour its existing funding commitments, she added. 

The NLCF has set up a dedicated Covid-19 page on its website, where it will post the latest updates on the subject. 

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