Funding in Northern Ireland

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK. Each year we distribute millions of pounds of funding raised by National Lottery players to community groups and charitable projects across Northern Ireland.

Our priority is to keep money flowing to support communities across Northern Ireland.

We are here to help and want to talk to you about your ideas to support local communities. We have a range of open funding programmes and are happy to chat to you about these.

Contact us if you have an idea on 028 9055 1455 or at

Each month we share lots of information about our funding opportunities, hints and tips, stories about supported projects and more. Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date here

It starts with community

Our new UK wide strategy - It starts with community - sets out our direction of travel and ambitions as a funder from now until 2030. We are looking to make a bigger difference in the years ahead and be more focused with our funding.

The strategy details our ambition to deliver our funding to strengthen society and improve lives across the UK.

Find out more about It starts with community.

What funding is available?

National Lottery Awards for All Northern Ireland


  • We can consider a wide range of projects to support, develop and strengthen communities through this programme. We can also consider projects that are supporting communities to cope during the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Project ideas should come from the community and must meet the programme criteria.
  • No deadline, so groups can apply any time.
  • Applying is quick and simple.
  • Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, schools, and statutory bodies.
  • This funding is for projects that will run for 2 years or less

Find out more

People and Communities


  • Project ideas should come from the community. Talk to the people you want to help and get them involved in shaping and planning the project.
  • Your project should make good use of the skills, knowledge, resources and energy of people within your community; making it stronger and ready for the future.
  • Understand the need for your project and how it fits with the work of other organisations. Build relationships and work together on shared goals.
  • Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, and social enterprises.
  • This funding is for projects that will run for between 1 and 5 years.

Find out more

Empowering Young People


  • This funding is for projects that work with young people (8 – 25 years old), and which will run for between 1 and 5 years.
  • Projects will help young people to: have the skills they need for the future; have better relationships with their support networks and communities; and/or have improved health and wellbeing.
  • Young people must be involved in the planning and delivery of the project. They must be able to develop the skills to help themselves, and their support networks and communities need to be involved too.
  • Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, and social enterprises.

Find out more

Sustainable Community Buildings

Up to £50,000 (capital funding)

  • This funding is to help organisations reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills.
  • We’ll provide capital funding to improve the environmental performance of community buildings that were constructed before 2005.
  • You’ll complete carbon literacy training and work with a sustainability expert to understand what your building needs.
  • We’ll support organisations with an annual income of less than £500,000.

Find out more

Dormant Accounts Fund NI

Phase one opened to applications in January 2021. This programme closed to applications from individual organisations at 5pm on 3 March 2023.

All applications have been assessed and information on all awards made can be accessed on the webpage.

For the first phase, we developed a flexible and responsive grant programme that supported organisations to be able to adapt to future challenges and be more financially resilient. We supported organisations that identified the best way to improve their long-term capacity, sustainability or resilience to best deliver their mission.

Phase one of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI also supports larger strategic investments to enable collaboration and develop new and creative approaches to sustainability for the sector. These investments will be Northern Ireland-wide or sector-specific proposals that focus on specific themes. We are still considering applications for strategic ideas.

Find out more

We’d like to talk to you about your ideas early on so we can give you the best funding advice, so please call our team on 028 9055 1455.

Other funding opportunities

UK wide programmes

We have a range of UK wide funding programmes open for applications.

Find out more

Other National Lottery distributors

There is a range of National Lottery distributors across the UK.

The Arts Council for Northern Ireland, Sports Northern Ireland and National Lottery Heritage Fund support local projects.

Find out more

About the ideas we support

We believe people know what's best when it comes to improving their lives and communities. We focus on the potential in people’s ideas, and on the skills and energy people already have that they can draw on. We ask what matters to communities, not what’s the matter with them.

We are interested in ideas that:

  • Involve people from the community right from the start – we want them to be involved in the development, design and delivery of a project.
  • Bring people together and strengthen relationships in and across communities.
  • Encourage people and organisations to work together to make a difference in their community.

We do this through:

  • Funding grassroots projects that bring people and communities together.
  • Asking groups to contact us early on so we can give advice and support, including feedback about which of our funding programmes is right for them.
  • Offering a range of flexible funding and support to make sure we’re able to help the biggest range of groups.
  • Helping organisations to share their learning with others.

Reducing your environmental impact

We all have a responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. This includes the communities and projects we support. 

We’ll expect all applicant organisations to consider their environmental impact and to have relevant policies and procedures in place.

Learn more about how you can make your project or event more environmentally sustainable and perhaps save money at the same time. You can access some links to local guidance on our website.

Useful information for groups who have received funding

Congratulations, you're now part of a family of fantastic organisations that are making communities across the UK better places to be.

We're proud to support the good work you do, using funding raised by National Lottery players for good causes. It's thanks to them that we give out more than £500 million to charities, community and voluntary groups each year.

As a grant holder, you’re now required to make sure you recognise the National Lottery support your project has received. You can do this by using our grant holder logo on your website, social media and across any printed materials. We also have a wealth of information available to help you promote your project.

If you have received funding through the Dormant Accounts Fund NI visit this page for details on promoting your project.