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National Lottery rolls out up to £600m in funding to tackle coronavirus impact

National Lottery rolls out up to £600m in funding to tackle coronavirus impact

Up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery is being made available to charities and organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Lottery funding will be distributed over the next few months to help projects most impacted by coronavirus and which support some of the most vulnerable. The funding packages span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

The funding packages announced to date include:

  • Up to £300m from the National Lottery Community Fund over the next six months is going UK-wide to groups supporting people and communities at this time
  • A £50m Emergency Fund from The National Lottery Heritage Fund UK-wide to address immediate pressures in the heritage sector over the next four months and provide increased investment in essential digital skills
  • Sport England announced £157 million of National Lottery funding would go towards a response package to support the sport and physical activity sector including organisations experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations
  • The Arts Council in England has announced that £144 million of National Lottery funding will go towards an emergency response package to support individuals and organisations across the cultural sector
  • With the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales has put £5.1 million from National Lottery sources into a £7 million Arts Resilience Fund for Wales to support arts funded individuals and organisations
  • Sport Wales has launched a Sport Resilience Fund, with £4.75 million from National Lottery sources to provide support across Welsh sport and help the nation remain active
  • The British Film Institute (BFI) has made £4.6 million of National Lottery funding available UK-wide to alleviate immediate pressure for organisations and individuals in the screen industries hardest hit by the pandemic
  • Creative Scotland has repurposed over £10m National Lottery funds to keep funding flowing to those in most immediate need. Resources have also been redeployed to ensure those working across Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries can maintain their practice during the coming months
  • sportscotland is accelerating £16.4 million of investment across the sporting system (£8.2 million The National Lottery and £8.2 million Scottish Government) to support Scottish Governing Bodies, local partners and clubs and community organisations and help protect the jobs of an estimated 1,600 people working in the sector
  • The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened a £500,000 National Lottery funded Artists Emergency Programme for freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers

Further funding announcements are expected in the future and more information on the National Lottery’s Covid-19 response is available on its National Lottery Good Causes website.

Dawn Austwick, Chair of The National Lottery Forum, said:

“The National Lottery has always supported projects that help people and communities across the UK thrive. And now, the funds available are switching focus to support communities, arts, heritage, sport, education and the environment to mitigate the unprecedented pressure they are coming under as the country rallies to overcome Covid-19.”

John Rose, Chair of the Wales National Lottery Forum and Director of the National Lottery Community Fund in Wales, commented:

“The distributors of National Lottery funding in Wales are acutely aware of the unprecedented impact the Coronavirus is having across the communities we support. We have been amazed how community groups of all types have pulled together to help out in their communities. As funders, we are working tirelessly to support the projects we fund and mitigate the effects as far as possible during this difficult time. We want to reassure our communities that we are still here, we’re still making awards and we’d like to thank players of The National Lottery for their ongoing support, which is enabling us to make funding available to people and communities affected by the pandemic.”


Main image: Well Fed (Scotland) received £10,000 in National Lottery funding to support its Covid-19 emergency response. It is working in Glasgow’s communities to provide access to healthy and nutritious meals for those who need it 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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