Shettleston Community Growing Project

Climate Action Fund

Shettleston Community Growing Project

The Climate Action Fund is supporting communities across the UK to take action on climate change. These communities will demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. With National Lottery funding, they will work together, share their learning and be active participants in a broader movement of change.

Suitable for
Community-led partnerships - see the full list of eligibility criteria below
Total available
£100 million over 10 years (see Funding Expectations below)
Application deadline

We are currently closed to applications. We expect to make further announcements about this fund in due course.

What we’re funding

What we have funded

On Monday 17 August we announced the first 14 grants from the Climate Action Fund going to communities across the UK to tackle climate change.

These projects will reduce the carbon footprint of communities and support community led movements that can demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. National Lottery funding will support these projects to work together, share learning and be catalysts for broader and transformative change.

Lead organisationProject nameLocationAmount
Cumbria Action for SustainabilityA Zero Carbon Cumbria: By The People For The PeopleCumbria£2,500,000
Wildlife Trusts of WalesClimate Change CymruAcross Wales£2,499,871
Voluntary Action LeedsClimate Emergency Community Action ProgrammeLeeds£2,499,676
The Women's Environmental Network TrustJust Food and Climate TransitionTower Hamlets, London£2,126,615
Middlesbrough Environment City Trust LtdClimate Action MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough£1,596,727
Duchy College part of The Cornwall College GroupFarm Net ZeroCornwall£1,269,153

Development grants

Bristol Green Capital Partnership CICCommunity Climate ActionBristol£372,592
Welcome to Our Woods LimitedRhondda SkylineRhondda Fawr Valley, Wales£238,750
Groundwork Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and TraffordChorlton Climate Action PartnershipChorlton, Manchester£207,954
Community Foundation for N.IrelandAcorn Farm ProjectDerry, NI£200,000
Sheffield Climate AlliancePartnership for Climate ActionSheffield£199,963
Octopus Community Network Limited and Global GenerationAction for Local FoodIslington, London£199,549
Bude Coastal Community TeamBude Together / Porthbud War-BarthBude, Cornwall£198,470
Greener Kirkcaldy LtdClimate Action FifeFife, Scotland£197,289


Community engagement

Over the lifetime of the Climate Action Fund, we are looking for opportunities to build large-scale public engagement campaigns, in support of the programme’s ambitions around supporting a broader movement of change. These may be focused around specific events or moments of public consciousness.

The Fund has identified a specific initial opportunity to develop a large-scale public engagement campaign. We want to explore how the visibility of a newly-released film about climate change (A Life on Our Planet, with the central ‘trusted voice’ of Sir David Attenborough) may be leveraged to support the building of a broader movement of change in climate action – a key part of the Fund’s strategic intentions as outlined in our Environment Strategy and Corporate Plan. WWF has retained the rights for closed circuit, non-commercial screenings of the film, and the Fund wants to utilise this as an opportunity to start conversations at a community-level about taking locally-appropriate climate action.

We are inviting WWF-UK to put forward an application in October 2020 to be considered by the Fund for funding. A decision on their application will be made in October/November 2020.The assessment criteria is presented below:

Assessment criteria:

  • Ability to show a broad and deep reach into communities, across the whole of the UK
  • Ability to demonstrate that this approach will be open and accessible to all; and particularly those who have been less engaged with the environmental agenda in the past
  • Ability to demonstrate how this project will bring people together in new ways, in order to take locally-appropriate climate action
  • Ability to demonstrate how communities will be supported to develop imaginative or innovative approaches to addressing the specific challenges of COVID-19, in order to maintain momentum (or generate new momentum) in taking climate action – despite those challenges.

And specifically, in support of The National Lottery Community Fund’s strategic goals:

  • Ability to use this project to demonstrate how The National Lottery Community Fund is supporting communities to take climate action and work proactively to associate the National Lottery with this agenda
  • Ability for us to tell a wider audience (and new audiences) about seeking funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, and how to participate in the wider Climate Action Fund programme (including seeking funding)
  • Ability to demonstrate how the project work can be shared with wider audiences to raise awareness e.g. blog to be featured on website, sharing video, imagery, insight from groups engaged etc
  • Ability to demonstrate how this project delivers on the wider strategic ambitions for the Climate Action Fund (notably movement-building)
  • Ability to demonstrate how this project will help the Climate Action Fund deliver its aim to “support community led movements that can demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change”.

What we expect to fund

The Climate Action Fund aims to reduce the carbon footprint of communities. A broader movement of change will enable communities to do this within and beyond the communities we fund. In this first round of funding, we are supporting a number of place-based community-led partnerships to make the changes in their community they believe will have the biggest impact on climate change.

Funding expectations:

  • The amount of funding available per application will depend on what each partnership needs at this stage:
    • Applicants who need more time to develop their partnership, engage widely or test their approaches can access initial development funding (up to £200,000 over 18 months)
    • Applicants who might be able to start longer-term plans at an earlier stage can access larger, longer-term awards (up to £2.5m over five years)
  • Successful applicants will have experience in implementing meaningful action on climate change
  • We expect to fund a mix of different places, communities, themes and initiatives, across the UK
  • We will use learning from the first round of funding to help shape what happens next and we will test and learn throughout the programme. Further rounds of funding will be available at a later stage.

What we want to see

  • Community-led: Your project will be led and driven by local groups with a deep understanding of local needs. You will have developed your idea by involving the people who will benefit. We want to see that you’ve spoken to people and listened to what they have to say and how you are meaningfully involving the people you’re working with in the development and delivery of your activity.
  • Working in partnership: You will be a place-based community-led partnership that brings together a wide range of people and organisations with a shared vision of what local climate change action should look like. Our vision is to support increased collaborative working, which starts with shared goals and values between different organisations and a joint understanding of the bigger picture. Other than voluntary and community organisations, partnerships could include the environmental sector, schools, statutory services, as well as the private sector. We would expect partnerships to include smaller grassroots groups as well as larger organisations. Partnerships will be expected to put in place an agreement as to how they will work together.
  • High impact: Our funding will focus on activities that have the potential to make a meaningful and lasting difference on the carbon footprint of communities. This includes action on sustainable energy, sustainable transport, consumption (food and waste), and the natural environment. To make a real difference, projects might need to have an impact on a number of those areas. We are gathering the latest evidence on high-impact climate action, as well as practical examples, to help and inspire places and communities to develop their projects. More information will be added as we progress through the programme.
  • Lasting impact: To reduce the impact of climate change, it is important that the changes made are sustainable beyond the funding we might give. Long -term changes in behaviour, ways of working and practices need to be at the core of all local climate action activities. Please also refer to the evidence for more information about this.
  • Reach: Partnerships need to engage with people outside of those already taking action on climate change in their local communities, and beyond.
  • Learning and engagement: We will expect partnerships to produce and share their learning from the start, regularly, and be active participants in a broader movement of change.

We will expect all partners to consider their own environmental impact and to have a robust policy and action plan in place.

View the UK Government’s information on environmental responsibility for charities

We will expect all partners to be aligned to our Diversity, equity and inclusion principles. Please click here for further information.

Check if you're eligible

The Climate Action Fund is currently closed to applications.

We are looking for community-led partnerships and expect the partnerships to be led, either formally or informally, by one of the following types of organisation:

  • Voluntary and community organisation
  • Registered charity or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
  • School
  • Not for profit company including companies limited by guarantee, community interest companies and community benefit societies with two or more directors.

We would welcome the involvement of statutory bodies in the partnerships but do not expect them to be the lead.

We can’t accept direct applications from or fund:

  • Individuals
  • Sole traders
  • Organisations based outside the UK
  • Anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation
  • Organisations that are aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution
  • Organisations without at least two unconnected* people on the board or committee.

(*not a relation by blood or marriage, in a long-term relationship or people living together at the same address)

However, this doesn’t mean though that some of these organisations could not form part of a partnership (for example: the private sector could be an important stakeholder in enabling meaningful local change).

We will consider funding unincorporated groups, but normally expect the groups to use our funding to incorporate and, where appropriate, register as a charity.

What can you spend the money on?

We can fund:

  • Staff salaries
  • Project activities
  • Engagement activities
  • Learning and evaluation
  • Running costs
  • Equipment
  • Organisational development
  • Some capital costs.*

*Given the focus on behavioural change and increasing participation, our expectation is that most of our funding will go towards revenue costs. However, we will consider funding capital providing the partnership can demonstrate how it might facilitate behavioural change and broaden participation, how it will be sustainable and how our funding might unlock additional investment from other sources. We recognise this will be different from one project to another and will discuss with applicants in more detail, should they move to developing a full proposal.

We can’t fund:

  • Activities that generate profits for private gain
  • Religious activity or content (although we are able to fund religious organisations if they are providing benefit for the wider community)
  • Activities that replace government funding (for example, we can only fund school activities that are additional to the curriculum)
  • Activities that benefit individuals, rather than the wider community
  • Retrospective costs
  • Loan repayments.

State aid

The National Lottery is regarded as a supplier of state resources alongside national, regional and local government bodies. Where our funding could give you an advantage over other organisations offering similar activities, it is likely to be deemed state aid.

State aid can only be awarded where strict rules are followed. These rules apply to any organisation, including those with charitable status, carrying out activities deemed to be economic activities. Where state aid is unlawful it may be subject to repayment by the aid recipient.

When developing your application, it’s important that you consider state aid regulations and how to make your project compliant. If you have concerns you should seek legal advice.

For more information about state aid visit

Not sure if you’re eligible?

If you’re unclear whether you or your project activities can be funded, get in touch with us:

Phone: 0345 4 10 20 30

Text relay: 18001 plus 0345 4 10 20 30 (for those with a hearing or speech impairment)


How to apply

The Climate Action Fund is currently closed to applications.

1. What to do if you have already got in contact during our information gathering phase

If you sent us details about your work during the information gathering phase we have contacted you to advise what happens next. You do not need to submit a further initial idea.

2. What to do if you didn’t contact us during the information gathering phase

Please first find out if we can fund you and read our eligibility criteria and the section on what we’re looking for

Please then respond to the questions in point three below and send your initial idea to by 5pm on Wednesday 18 December 2019. We encourage you to send in your responses as soon as possible. You do not need to wait till this deadline to submit your initial idea if you are ready to send it to us earlier.

We’re comfortable receiving applications in the format that best suits your organisation, and don’t have a standard application form.

We may get in touch to find out more about your idea if we think it is something we may want to fund through the Climate Action Fund.

We will contact all applicants to advise them whether their idea has been accepted and next steps by Wednesday 22 Janauary 2020.

3. Initial idea questions

First, give us a brief outline of your project - what do you want to do and why.

We appreciate you may not yet have all the details of your idea, but to help us build a good understanding, please also include responses to the following:

Q1: What and where is your organisation and community?
We want to know who you are and where your work is happening. How are the people in your community in the lead?

Q2: What does your partnership look like?
What organisations, sectors, groups and people have you been working with and speaking with about this fund? Have you worked together previously?

Q3: What have you been doing, to date, to take action on climate change?
Describe the work you have done so far, and the impact it has had. Describe your vision for climate action in your community (now or in the future). What are you aiming to achieve? Do you have any results that you could share?

Q4: Describe your collective goal or vision for taking action on climate change
Describe your vision for your climate action. What are you aiming to achieve and what does/will it look like in practice? How and why did you decide on this goal?

Q5: Who do you feel is doing the best climate action work?
Tell us about what you’ve seen elsewhere and who you’re learning from.

Q6: How are you engaging with other communities?
Have you or others in your partnership worked with other communities and different places to take action on climate change?

As this is just the initial idea stage, please do not spend too much time on answering these questions

4. Full proposal

If your idea is accepted, we'll contact you to discuss next steps regarding the full proposal.

Your application will be made up of:

  • Your proposal for funding
  • Organisation details
  • Your partnership agreement.

You will be sent detailed guidance on how to put together your full proposal, including areas that you need to cover and what supporting documentation you should include. Your assigned contact at the Fund will also provide additional support and discuss things like format and length of your proposal.

All full proposals will need to be submitted by midday on Friday 27 March 2020, including those who have already been in touch with us during the information gathering phase.

A funding decision on your proposal will be made by one of The National Lottery Community Fund panels, based on an assessment by the relevant Portfolio Officer representative.

5. When will I know if my full proposal has been accepted?

Decisions for this first phase of funding will be made before the end of the first half of 2020. Your Portfolio Officer will advise you of the decision-making date as soon as this is confirmed.

Once this panel has taken place:

If you’re successful: You’ll get a call from your assigned contact at the Fund and an offer letter in the post.

If you’re unsuccessful: You’ll get a call or email from your assigned contact letting you know the decision and offering any relevant feedback.

6. Get ongoing support

If you’re successful, we’ll work with you to identify the right level of support throughout the duration of your grant.

We’ll agree your payment plan, how often you’ll update us on your progress, and how we gain assurance for the funding we have awarded.

We’ll also discuss how we can support you to celebrate and promote your funding, engage with the wider community, share your learning with others and be an active participant in a broader movement of change.