National Lottery Community Fund handed out more than half a billion pounds last year

But total grants to good causes in 2018/19 were a £9m reduction on the previous year, the NLCF's annual report shows

National Lottery Community Fund
National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund made more than £500m worth of grants available for good causes in the last financial year, its latest annual report shows.

In its report for the year to 31 March 2019, the NLCF, which was formerly called the Big Lottery Fund, distributed £511.1m in grants to charities across the UK.

This was a small decrease from 2017/18, when £520m was given out in grants by the NLCF.

Last year’s report reflected falling National Lottery revenue, with 2016/17 having seen the NLCF hand out £717m in grants.

National Lottery income was £7.2bn in 2018/19, with £1.65bn going to good causes including the NLCF.

England got £367.4m in funding from the NLCF across 9,604 projects, while UK-wide projects got £49.4m across 162 grants.

There were 706 grants made in Wales to the combined value of £31.3m, and 577 grants in Northern Ireland worth a total £18.1m.

Scotland received £44.9m across 1,094 projects, the annual report says.

Community projects and health and wellbeing schemes were the most popular recipients of lottery grants, with 6,853 and 6,656 projects respectively.

In his introduction to the report, Peter Ainsworth, chair of the NLCF, said: "Our job is, quite simply, to make people feel happier. We try to balance acute need with long-term intervention and everyday joy.

"We can only do this thanks to players of the National Lottery, which is 25 years old this year. We are working more closely than ever within the National Lottery family to ensure that our collective efforts are recognised and applauded."

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