Up to £600 million National Lottery Funding to tackle Coronavirus impact

Charities and organisations affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery.

Thanks to National Lottery players, hundreds of millions of pounds of National Lottery funding will be distributed over the next few months to help projects in the UK most impacted by coronavirus and which support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Whether it is funding for good causes that combat loneliness and isolation, provide support for the elderly, or projects that support physical and mental health in the community - the extensive funding packages span the arts, community and charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

The funding support announced to date in the UK to help tackle the impact of coronavirus, includes:

● Up to £300 million from The National Lottery Community Fund over the next six months going UK-wide to groups best placed to support people and communities at this vital time.

● A £50 million Emergency Fund from The National Lottery Heritage Fund UK-wide to address immediate pressures in the heritage sector over the next four months and provide increased investment in essential digital skills;

Sport England announced £157 million of National Lottery funding would go towards a response package to support the sport and physical activity sector including organisations experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations and launched Join the Movement, a National Lottery funded consumer campaign, backed by tv advertising to encourage people to stay active at home and share experiences on social media through #StayInWorkOut;

The Arts Council in England announced £144 million of National Lottery funding would go towards an emergency response package to support individuals and organisations across the cultural sector in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has made £4.6 million of National Lottery funding available to alleviate immediate pressure for organisations and individuals in the screen industries hardest hit by the pandemic, ranging from emergency funding for freelancers whose contracts were suddenly cancelled through to grants for audience facing venues which have unexpectedly had to close. The BFI also plays a crucial leadership role, working with the entire screen sector, to help shape measures responding to the crisis and guiding its strategy for recovery.

● Together with the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales have been able to put £5.1 million from National Lottery sources into a £7 million Arts Resilience Fund for Wales. The fund will provide support for arts funded individuals and organisations to help them through the Coronavirus crisis; and

Sport Wales have launched a Sport Resilience Fund, with £4.75 million from National Lottery sources to support sports clubs and their partner networks ensuring the nation is able to remain active

Creative Scotland has repurposed over £10m National Lottery funds to keep funding flowing to those in most immediate need due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Resources have also been redeployed to ensure those working across Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries can maintain their practice during the coming months.

sportscotland is accelerating £16.4 million of investment across the sporting system (£8.2 million The National Lottery and £8.2 million Scottish Government) to support Scottish Governing Bodies (SGBs), local partners and clubs and community organisations. The funding will help protect the jobs of an estimated 1,600 members of staff working in the sector.

● The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened a £500,000 National Lottery funded Artists Emergency Programme for freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers. Grants of up to £5,000 each will be used to support the research, design and future presentation of arts event and performance, including resources to help artists develop their creative practices.

The figures highlighted today form the total funding package unveiled to date - further funding announcements are expected in the future.

Dawn Austwick, Chair of The National Lottery Forum, comments of the contribution, “The National Lottery has always supported projects that help people and communities across the UK thrive. And now, the funds available are switching focus to support communities, arts, heritage, sport, education and the environment to mitigate the unprecedented pressure they are coming under as the country rallies to overcome Covid-19.”

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “Since the National Lottery began in 1994, its dedicated players have raised more NEWS RELEASE than £40 billion for good causes across the UK, making an enormous difference to people’s lives and the issues they care about.

“In these uncertain times, lottery funding takes on an even greater significance, as we come together to deliver a national effort. So I am delighted that the National Lottery is channelling its support to help those most in need across these sectors.

“This will help to support jobs and economic growth, allowing us to support vulnerable people who are relying on us, and continue to keep Britain active, educated and entertained both during and after this epidemic.”

The Government has also pledged a £750 million package of support for UK charities which was announced earlier this month, to ensure they can continue their vital work.

£30 million is raised every week on average by National Lottery players for projects big and small across the country. The news is a welcome boost for many National Lottery funded good causes who have been going to innovative lengths to ensure that people who use their support can still access their services in some way during these exceptional times.

To find out more about the range of funding support announced by National Lottery distributors across the UK to date, visit the National Lottery Good Causes website www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/coronavirus-pandemic-response

National Lottery players are encouraged to play online at national-lottery.co.uk or by downloading the National Lottery app and only buy their tickets in retail as part of their essential shop.