Why we’re keeping our funds open beyond 2020

Like many funders our plans for 2020 have changed significantly as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year at the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland we were due to pause and redevelop our funding offer as it reached the end of its five-year cycle.

But we have changed these plans. We think it is important to make sure you can access our significant National Lottery funds to help your communities respond to and recover from the impact of the pandemic.

National Lottery Community Fund branded flag among some pink flowers

The biggest change is that we are committing to keep our current funding programmes open for an extra 18-24 months. We hope remaining open for applications means we can better support the sector through COVID-19.

We will keep some of our funds unchanged. Where needed, we will adapt some of our funds to be more focused on COVID-19 recovery, with shorter grants and a quicker turnaround.

What are the big headlines?

Our most popular and easiest to access fund, National Lottery Awards for All Scotland, will remain open and unchanged. As will Young Start, our fund supporting youth-led work for young people aged 8-24.

Our Improving Lives fund remains open and will be quicker to access. We will focus on making smaller, shorter grants. From October 1 2020 the maximum Improving Lives grant will be £200,000 for up to three years. We are reviewing how we can expand our criteria to help support recovery from COVID-19.

Our Community-Led Activity fund remains open. We’re also reviewing this fund to make sure it remains relevant to the current situation.

We’re prioritising COVID-19 responses across all our funds– but we are also funding lots of non-COVID-19 related work, so you can still apply for that too.

Are there any deadlines?

Most of our funds will continue for the foreseeable future, with no deadlines or closing dates planned.

For our Improving Lives fund, applications for up to three years’ funding and for £200,000 or less will continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis.

However, any Improving Lives applications for more than £200,000 or more than three years’ funding should be submitted by 12:00 (noon) on Wednesday 30 September 2020.

When will any further changes be announced?

We are reviewing how we can adapt our funding criteria for both our Improving Lives and Community-Led Activity grants to help support recovery from COVID-19. We will let you know about any changes we make as a result of this before the end of 2020.

We have no plans to make any changes to our other funding programmes.

What if I have questions?

We’ll try to keep you up to date on any changes and common questions on our website, social media, and this blog.

But please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to ask – we’re more than happy to have a chat.

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