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The National Lottery are supporting charities and organisations that have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK by giving access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money.

Thanks to National Lottery players, hundereds of millions of pounds of National Lottery funding will be distributed to help projects in the UK most impacted by the pandemic over the next couple of months. Supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The funding package will span the arts, community and charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors. Helping to combat loneliness and isolation, providing support for the elderly and vulnerable, or projects that support physical and mental health in the community.

The funding support will include:

  • Up to £300 million from The National Lottery Community Fund over the next six months going to UK-wide groups to support people and communities.
  • A £50 million Emergency Fund from The National Lottery Heritage Fund UK-wide to support immediate pressures in the heritage sector over the next four months and increased investment in essential digital skills.
  • Sport England announced that £157 million of the fund will go towards a response package supporting the sport and physical activity sector including organisations experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations and launched Join the Movement. Join the Movement is a National Lottery funded consumer campaign, backed with tv advertisements to encourage staying active at home and sharing experiences on social media through #StayInWorkOut.
  • The Arts Council in England announced that £144 million of the funding will go towards an emergency response package to support individuals and organisations across the cultural sector.
  • The British Film Institute (BFI) has made £4.6 million available to alleviate immediate pressure on organisations and indivisuals in the screen industries. Rangind from emergency funding for freelancers whose contracts were suddenly cancelled through to grants for audience facing venues which have had to close.
  • 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.
  • Sport Wales have launched the Sport Resilience Fund with £4.75 million from National Lottery sources to support sports clubs and their partners, ensuring the nation is able to remain active.
  • Creative Scotland have repurposed over £10 million National Lottery funds to keep funds flowing to those most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources have been redeployed to ensure those working in arts, screen and creative industries across Scotland can maintain their practice in the coming months.
  • Sports Scotland has invested £16.4 million across the sporting system (£8.2 million the National Lottery and £8.2 million Scottish Government) to support Scottish Governing Bodies, local partners and clubs and community organisations. Helping to protect an estimate of 1,600 jobs 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.

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 has said:

“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 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.”

A £750 million package of support for UK charities had been announced earlier this month by the government, to ensure vital work can continue during the Coronavirus outbreak.

On average National Lottery players raise £30 million on average weekly, for projects across the country.

While it is not yet known which projects will receive funding first, many have already adapted to the crisis, for example:

The Warm and Toasty Club, based in Essex, is a community group that entertains people over the age of 60 using music, arts and history. In response to the outbreak they have moved online. Now they are holing live online Memory Afternoons on Facebook with features including #BiscuitOfTheWeek, combating loneliness by bringing people together virtually during isolation.

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

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