David Knott, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) posted the following statement on the NLCF website on Tuesday 25th October 2022 about the Fund’s response to the cost-of-living crisis:
“The cost of living is not only dominating news headlines but is coming up regularly in conversations with our grantees.
“You have told us about the impact it is having on the support and services you are able to offer your community, the new burdens it is placing on you, how it is affecting your organisation’s financial resilience and your ability to attract and retain staff or volunteers.
“You are determined to support your communities through these difficulties, and we are equally determined to support you.
“You have been open about the challenges you face and this has allowed us to listen and respond. We want you to know that we are here for you – and this is what we are doing.
“Similar to how we supported communities through the darkest days of COVID-19, you can expect us to be flexible and responsive. Our approach will be guided by four principles:
1. We will keep all our funding open and available – all funding portfolios are open for applications whether new or returning. We expect to commit over £75m to support communities on cost-of-living through the next year, factoring in commitments to date and added flexibility in grant making.
2. We will be flexible and adaptable – we know, including from experience during COVID-19, that one of most important things we can offer as a funder is flexibility and agility in our grant-making approach. We have now made changes to allow greater variations and adjustments in grants underway to reflect cost of living pressures and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we will be open to organisations applying to be awarded an additional National Lottery Award for All grants this year – worth up to £20k in total. We will update on availability in England in due course.
3. Our commitment to people and communities remains a constant – as we set out in our Putting Communities First Commitments last year, we will balance responding to the here and now with shaping the future. Demand for funding remains high, and while we can’t fund every project, our funding will remain guided by communities and where our funding can make the most difference alongside others.
4. We will work with others to draw on knowledge, insight and foresight – over the period ahead we will listen and use our grant-making data and insight to help us – and others – build a picture of what is happening, and make this available to help influence and steer our and others’ approach.
“It’s important to say too that the cost of living is a common theme within the many conversations and listening events we are engaging in for our Strategy Renewal. This process began earlier this year and will help shape how The National Lottery Community Fund can best support communities now until 2030.
“We started this process by asking you and our stakeholders to help us better understand the challenges and opportunities you face, your aspirations and hopes, and the ways we can best support communities in the future.
“Since launching this process, we’ve had almost 2,000 engagements with communities and civil society organisations across the UK where we have looked specifically at our future strategy. You’ve shared your ideas, experiences and insights and we are hugely grateful for your input.
“If you’d like to know how this is progressing here are some reflections on what we have heard so far.
“It’s not too late to get involved either. Please keep an eye on Putting Communities First for further updates, including upcoming online events.“
For details of all open and closed National Lottery grant programmes, please visit its website.