National Lottery funding exceeds £1billion to tackle COVID-19 impact

A puffin spreads its wings on a ridge on the Skomer and Skokholm islands overlooking the sea
The National Lottery has awarded £1.2billion to support people and projects throughout the UK to cope with the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

The extent of the support, revealed as the first anniversary of lockdown approaches, has helped boost the arts, heritage, sport and community sectors. In doing so it has protected the future of thousands of organisations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  

"This funding has helped alleviate some of the significant and unprecedented challenges faced by the community, arts, heritage and sports sectors as a result of the pandemic."  

Ros Kerslake, Chair of The National Lottery Forum and Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Supporting communities

Over the past year this funding has financed thousands of programmes and initiatives, which range from supporting the elderly, promoting physical and mental health in the community and combating loneliness and isolation.

This funding is thanks to National Lottery players who raise £30million each week for good causes. 

Some of the organisations we have championed include:

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales – £48,000

The grant allowed four wardens to continue to care for the vast colonies of rare seabirds that nest on Skomer and Skokholm islands.

The funding was necessary as the pandemic had brought tourism to a standstill and devastated the trust's income streams.

Destined at Foyle Valley Railway Museum – £45,100

Destined supports people with learning disabilities in the north-west of Northern Ireland and the emergency funding helped safely re-open the museum.

The museum is vital in enabling Destined to generate income to sustain its support services for young people. Opening the museum also ensured local people could continue to access and learn about the heritage of the area's railways.

Harwich Electric Palace Trust – £11,300

Harwich Electric Palace Trust is one of only five working grade II* listed cinemas in the UK, and the grant enabled the trust to review its business plan despite the pandemic.

It was able to purchase PPE and outdoor equipment so that it could continue to function as a heritage and community arts venue. 

National Trust for Scotland – £250,000

With emergency funding of £250,000, the National Trust for Scotland was able to re-open the Battle of Bannockburn Experience in a safe and engaging way for visitors under coronavirus restrictions.

The funding was also used to enhance the experience for visitors to the grounds of the 1314 battle, adding information panels and an audio experience to the A-listed Rotunda. 

Apply for National Lottery funding

Applications are open for National Lottery Grants for Heritage from £3,000 up to £5million. We will prioritise projects that contribute to our recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Explore the guidance to find out more.

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