UK National Lottery Announces £600m COVID-19 Impact Fund

  • The UK's National Lottery impact fund will assist projects hit hardest by COVID-19
  • Fund will also help tackle isolation and loneliness during the lockdown
  • Other sectors to benefit include charity, community, education, heritage, and sports
  • Over £300m will be allocated across UK groups in the next six months
National Lottery sign in front of shop
Organizations supporting the most vulnerable communities in the UK will benefit from the National Lottery’s £600m impact fund. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Supporting people and communities

The UK’s National Lottery has announced a new £600m ($750m) fund to help charities and organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Art groups and sports clubs are among the projects that will be aided by the fund. Initiatives focused on tackling loneliness and isolation, as well as providing care for the elderly, and support for mental and physical health, will also benefit.

Other sectors that will receive support include community-based charities, as well as organizations focused on education, environment, and heritage.

the UK’s National Lottery has always provided help to enable projects and communities thrive

Over the next six months, up to £300m ($375m) from the National Lottery Community Fund will be allocated across the UK to groups to support people and communities amid the pandemic.

Dawn Austwick, chair of the National Lottery Forum, said that the UK’s National Lottery has always provided help to enable projects and communities thrive across the country, adding that: “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.”

Helping those who need it most

Elsewhere, over the next four months, a £50m ($62m) Emergency Fund from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will tackle pressure in the heritage sector. The money will also be used to provide investment in digital skills.

Sport England will use £157m ($196m) of National Lottery Funding to support the sport and physical activity sector. Whereas, the Arts Council has announced a National Lottery support package amounting to £144m ($180m), which will go toward helping individuals and organizations within the cultural sector that have been impacted by the pandemic.

The British Film Institute (BFI) will receive £4.6m ($5.75m) from the National Lottery to assist those in the film industry that have been negatively affected by the current climate. This includes freelancers who have had contracts canceled as a result.

Elsewhere in the UK

Meanwhile, Sport Wales has announced a Sport Resilience Fund worth £4.8m ($6m). Sports Scotland will be pushing £16.4m ($21m) toward Scottish governing bodies, clubs and community organizations, and local partners.

Creative Scotland, a development body for the arts and creative industries in Scotland, is using over £10m ($12.50m) from the National Lottery funds within the arts, creative, and screen industries. The Welsh government, along with the Arts Council of Wales, have put £5.1m ($6.40m) of National Lottery funding into a £7m ($8.80m) Arts Resilience Fund for Wales.

continue to keep Britain active, educated, and entertained both during and after this epidemic”

And the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened a £500,000 ($625,000) National Lottery funded Artists Emergency Programme aimed at supporting freelance artists, creative practitioners, and performers.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, praised what the National Lottery is doing, saying: “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.”