Building Better Opportunities

Progress, Building Better Opportunities

The National Lottery Community Fund is matching funds from the European Social Fund for projects across England that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion.

What’s it all about?

The National Lottery Community Fund is matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

The funding will be delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas according to local priorities, which have been set by the LEPs themselves. It will support a variety of projects, ranging from those improving employability for the most disadvantaged, helping those with multiple and complex needs, to improving financial literacy.

The amount of funding varies across different areas as LEPs and the LEP area European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) Sub Committees have decided how much of their ESF allocation to devote to this strand of work.


Building Better Opportunities projects will support more than 100,000 people overall. The programme will help these individuals to overcome multiple complex needs, build confidence and resilience, and become less isolated from their local communities.

Visit the case studies page to read about some of the people who have been helped so far.

Reports on progress are collected quarterly, and are then validated at The National Lottery Community Fund. As of the end of June 2018 (quarter 2):

54,509 participants in total had registered to Building Better Opportunities projects.

13,589 of these were participants over 50 years of age, 27,040 participants had disabilities and 12,268 participants were of an Ethnic Minority.

So far, 3,604 have secured employment, 3,244 have moved into education or training and 2,992 have gone from being ‘economically inactive’ to job searching.

Support for grantholders

For Building Better Opportunities, The National Lottery Community Fund is matching funding from the European Social Fund. It is important that grant holders follow the regulations laid down by the ESF. Our Guide to delivering European funding will support you in applying these requirements.

Our Building Better Opportunities resources page contains documents from throughout the programme. Here you can find general information about the programme, logos, templates, FAQs and lessons learned in delivering the programme.

The National Lottery Community Fund has appointed Ecorys to deliver the national evaluation and learning services for this programme. The evaluation concentrates on examining how the programme is implemented, primarily concerning access and impact. Valuable learning along the way will be shared here

If you have a query about Building Better Opportunities, please contact or call 0345 4 10 20 30.

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