Lottery is back

Arts Council England is bringing back the National Lottery Project Grants from later this month, with easier access than before.

The NLPG, which supports creative and cultural projects that benefit the public and helps with research and development, was suspended at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown to free funds for the £160m emergency fund as were a number of other programmes, but will return on July 22 with a budget of £59.8m available until April 2021.

Part of its original budget was repurposed as emergency funding, and £64.8 million of that has already been distributed to nearly 10,000 individuals and independent organisations. 

 “Since the beginning of the pandemic we’ve seen how much of a positive difference creative people and organisations make to communities across England” said ACE’s CEO Darren Henley. “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to support our nation’s creativity over the past few months through our Emergency Response Funds. Now, we’re turning our attention to rebuilding cultural and artistic life in our villages, towns and cities through this £59.8 million National Lottery Project Grants investment in artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries."

Over a two-phased approach NLPG is to be made more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners, with a number of improvements announced today: 

  • The 10% match funding condition will be relaxed. 
  • Libraries will now be able to apply for activity that aligns with any of the four Universal Library Offers.
  • An external advice-giving programme is being planned to ensure that the fund reaches a wider and more diverse applicant pool (more details to be announced soon).
  • ACE will aim for at least equal success rates for individuals and organisations, to make sure that individuals are well supported while other programmes, like Developing Your Creative Practice, are still unavailable. 

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