Information for existing grant holders during COVID-19

We understand that you might need to change your plans because of Government and health advice. We encourage you to follow this advice.   

We trust you to know what’s best for your community. So we’ll be flexible about changes to your project, and will support you and your teams through the crisis.  

You might have already spoken to your funding officer about what support we can offer you, but here’s what all of our grantholders can expect from us. If you have any questions or concerns, get in touch with your funding officer (or contact us)

We’re operating as normal and will make payments as planned

We have systems in place to make sure our staff can work from home effectively. This means that grant payments will continue as planned.

We’ll be flexible if your project changes

So you can respond to the current crisis and changes in local needs. This includes adapting to:

  • changes in your project timelines
  • changes in your project activity
  • changes in costs not included in your original budget (if it’s a major change, please contact your funding officer to talk about your plans. If it’s minor, we trust your judgement in how you support your community
  • postponements or cancellations of events or activities we’ve funded, including through #CelebrateNationalLottery25 (we’ll also pay cancellation fees)
  • changes in events or activities to avoid any risk of exposing people to the virus
  • a delay in starting your project if you’ve just been awarded funding (we can extend the start date for up to six months, or more later if needed).

If you want to change your senior or main contact - contact your funding officer (if you have one) or contact us.

If you’re not sure about the changes you’re making
Get in touch with your funding officer (or contact us).

We’ll support your organisation and your teams through this crisis

This includes:

  • continuing to pay staff salaries (so you can support existing staff who need to be off sick, self-isolate or have caring responsibilities)
  • considering any requests you make for support if you experience financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • being flexible if your key workers are ill and you can’t deliver services as planned
  • supporting you if you are met with additional costs as a result of supporting your community through this crisis

Don’t worry about deadlines and reporting 

Our focus is on helping you support communities through this crisis. So we’ll be flexible about reporting and deadlines – and we'll get in touch at a later date if we need to.

When to tell us about a change to your project

If you’re making significant changes to what you’ll be using your grant for
For example, if you’re completely changing your plans or activities, please contact your funding officer. We’ll be happy to chat about your change in plans.

When customers just need to record a change and tell us about it later:

  • if you need to change your costs and spend money on items not included in your original budget
  • if you need to postpone an event or activity we’ve funded
  • if you’re adapting an event or activity to avoid any risk of exposing people to the virus
  • if your key workers are ill and you can’t deliver services as planned.

Our grantholders are eligible to claim their employees’ wages (‘furlough’)

This means you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave due to COVID-19, so long as you meet certain criteria. We will also allow eligible grantholders to change their grant, so that funding that was going to be used to pay for staff can be used for other essential activities. Read more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and The National Lottery Community Fund’s grantholders.

You can still apply for funding (including funding for COVID-19 projects)

For now we’re prioritising funding projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. This is so these projects can start as soon as possible, while helping us to spend public money responsibly. Find out more about applying for funding to support communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

You can still apply for some of our existing funding, but it might take a bit longer to get it from us.

If you recently applied for funding

We expect to assess applications and award funding as usual in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. And we will continue to do this in line with the decision timescales published on our website for different programmes, though we are prioritising COVID-19 related projects. In England we’re focusing solely on supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We might contact you to talk about your plans. We’ll do this if it looks like your plans might need to change because of the current crisis. Or if you might need to change how you were planning to deliver the project.