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National Lottery - Local Connections Fund

Summary: The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.

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About National Lottery - Local Connections Fund

The money will be used to fund hundreds of 'microgrants' between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.

What the funding's for?

The funding will help to bring people together in safe and secure ways – including by covering the costs of technologies and equipment that will help people feel more connected within their communities.

Funding can also be used to help strengthen organisations and their services through, for example, training and development.

The funding is to:

  • Build relationships in and across communities to help reduce loneliness and build connections between people and communities
  • Bring together organisations who are working on social connections to celebrate their work, share learning and best practice, and form/bring together peer networks.

This is to help make:

  • People and communities feel more connected
  • Individuals feel supported and less lonely or isolated
  • People more aware of services available that help them to connect with others and get involved
  • Organisations learn from each other.

*Please note that all projects/activities must comply with current rules around social distancing and Government guidance regarding reducing and controlling Covid-19.

Who can apply

The National Lottery are interested in hearing from small organisations - with an annual income of £50,000 or less – that are working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communities. These may be:

  • a voluntary or community organisation
  • a registered charity
  • a not-for-profit company or Community Interest Company
  • a faith group (but we cannot fund religious activities)
  • a constituted group or club.

Organisations can still apply, even if they already have existing grants with The National Lottery Community Fund. But you cannot apply for costs which have been funded by other means, including Government or National Lottery funding. If duplicate funding does occur, they'll take action to recover these funds.

Who isn't eligible

  • sole traders
  • companies that can pay profits to directors, shareholders or members (including Companies Limited by Shares)
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • one organisation applying on behalf of another
  • unconstituted groups.

Two rounds of funding:

The Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding. This first round will be open for applications from 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021. The second round of funding will launch in the summer of 2021.

Successful applicants for this first round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.


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