National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England suspend grant-making in run up to UK General Election on Thursday 4th July 2024

The National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England are among funders halting some activity until after the General Election, which takes place on 4 July.

This is in line with the Period of Sensitivity, which takes place immediately before every election, and places restrictions on the use of public resources like National Lottery and Dormant Assets money, and the activities of civil servants. During this period, civil servants and public organisations like these two funders have to follow guidelines published by Cabinet Office.

As a result, while essential business continues at the National Lottery Community Fund and Arts Council England, including making grant decisions, until 5 July they will not:

o Announce new funding, programmes, partnerships, funding awards or publications.
Interact with politicians or candidates seeking re-election.
o Promote the work they have done/organisations they have supported.
o Publish new reports,
o Interact with or share content from grant holders on digital or social media channels.

External communications activity will resume when the Period of Sensitivity lifts after a new government is formed.

Period of Sensitivity & funded organisations

Funded organisations do not have to abide by the Period of Sensitivity in the same way, but there are some limitations on what they can do during this period.

If recently been awarded new National Lottery or Arts Council funding, this must not be publicly announced before the election date, for example in news articles or social media announcements.

This information can be shared privately with the people and organisations that are part of the project’s activity, but these third parties must not share information publicly either. 

If funding is already public knowledge, then recipients can continue to promote their work as usual. However the funders can’t promote or publicise any of the projects or organisations they have invested in during this time.

Charities & campaigning

In the run up to an election, there are also changes to the rules about charity campaigning. Bond, a UK network for organisations working in international development, has issued some helpful guidance on what charities need to know, and the rules they need to abide at this link

Source: UK Fundraising