Community Matters (Yorkshire)

National Lottery Funding

The National Lottery contributes to good causes through its many grant programmes.

 Who can apply?

The National Lottery works in partnership with lottery distributors, to support ‘Good Causes’ in the arts, heritage, health, education, environment, community and charity sectors.

Each Lottery ‘Good Cause’ funds its programmes with their own criteria and application process.

Each distributor makes decisions about who shall receive awards independently of the government and according to guidelines established by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

 What do they fund?

‘Good Causes’ in the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, community and charity sectors.

 How do you apply?

Application form. It is best to contact the appropriate body to discuss your project idea.

 How much?

The amount you can apply for varies – anything from a small amount for new or small groups to large amounts over a number of years. The amount you can apply for is stated for each funding programme.


  • Funds a wide variety of good causes
  • Can be large grants, including salaries
  • Some pots of money require very little or no match funding e.g. Big Lottery and Awards for All
  • Can provide medium term project funding
  • Very communicative funder and support usually available


  • Larger applications can be complicated and time consuming
  • There is less money available as less people are doing the lottery
  • There can be ethical issues for some groups not wanting to access money raised from gambling

 Lottery Funding

Lottery Funding is a joint website run by all Lottery funders in the UK. This site allows you to search information on current funding programmes across the UK. The funding search will help you to find the funding programmes that best match your project. It will search programmes offered by Lottery funders that are currently open to applications. The funding search will take you through a series of four questions about: the location of your project; about you as an applicant; about the project itself; and about the amount of money you are applying for.


 The Lottery Good Causes Distributors

 Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Website:

Regional Offices are listed on their website.

 Awards For All

The BIG Lottery Fund launched its own new version of the highly popular Awards for All small grants scheme in England and Wales from 1st April 2009. The programme aims to make a difference to communities and the lives of those most in need and will focus on social and environmental projects that benefit local communities.

The application form, available in English and Welsh, can be downloaded, filled in and emailed direct to the Big Lottery Fund as well as being available in hard copy. Application forms are available from Website:

  Arts Council England

Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone in England by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. To find out more and apply Visit Website:

Sport England

Sport England’s vision is to make England an active and successful sporting nation. They have a range of different funding strands, but for most people the key one is:

 Sport England – Small Grant Scheme (replacement for Awards for All)

Sport England’s small grants scheme funds community projects that encourage people to become involved in sport and ensure that they have a quality sporting experience. The scheme also helps people to improve their performance in their chosen sport. The scheme is for not-for-profit sports
clubs, voluntary and community organisations, local authorities and education institutions.

Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available for revenue and small capital projects.

Application is via a single-stage online form. They offer advice and support to applicants, and the whole process, from receipt of application to decision, will take no longer than six weeks. Visit Website:

 Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, they invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has awarded over £4 billion in grants to heritage projects throughout the UK.

Heritage Lottery Fund – Small grants (replacement for Awards for All)

The Heritage Lottery Fund have two small grants schemes:

 Young Roots – This scheme makes grants to involve 13-25 year-olds in finding out about their heritage, developing skills, building confidence and promoting community involvement.

 Your Heritage – This scheme supports projects that relate to the local, regional or national heritage of the UK and that help people to learn about and look after their heritage.

Young Roots makes grants of between £3,000 and £25,000, and Your Heritage between £3,000 and £50,000.

They offer advice and help before you apply, the application forms are short and simple and they can offer you a mentor to help you run your project. You can apply at any time and will receive a decision on your application within 10 weeks of them receiving your completed application. Visit Website:

There are specific funds for Scotland and Northern Ireland

For more information and support go to