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National Lottery Community Fund commits up to £300m to coronavirus crisis

National Lottery Community Fund commits up to £300m to coronavirus crisis

The National Lottery Community Fund is to commit up to £300m over the next six months to helping charities tackling the coronavirus crisis, CEO Dawn Austwick has said.

In a statement published on the National Lottery Community Fund’s site, Austwick says that as well as changing its funding focus for now, the Fund will accelerate the cash part of this funding to get it where it needs to be as quickly as possible. It has also so far honoured existing commitments to grant holders and has offered them flexibility so that they can focus on supporting their communities.

Austwick said:

“In deciding how to implement this approach we have to make some tough choices about how we get that money out quickly to those communities and organisations that need it most. We will do our best to be fair and true to our principles and to you.

“To reach those groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time, we will prioritise the following faster payments for existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

– Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis

– Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.”

The Fund will keep its approach under constant review, and should it get through this initial tranche of support with some funding left or circumstances change, will move to set new priorities.

Austwick added:

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 fore-front of the current crisis, when support is needed most.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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