Community Assets

Grants from £10,000 to £1 million to create strong and resilient communities through assets.

Suitable for
Voluntary or community organisations
Application deadline


Image credit: Image credit: Connect Community Trust, an example of a project funded for similar work under Medium Grants Scotland

What’s it all about?

Community Assets closed in October 2019, and the final grants were made in summer 2020.

Through Community Assets we focused on helping local communities to address specific inequalities or disadvantages through ownership of an asset.

Applicants had to show us clear evidence that they have consulted with their communities, considered various options to meet their needs and selected the best option to address this.

We also funded work that is people-led, strengths-based and connected. Further information about understanding these ‘three approaches’ is available, including case studies.

Community Assets was informed by research carried out on its predecessor, Growing Community Assets.

What did we fund?

Community Assets closed to new applications in October 2019, and the final grants were made in summer 2020. This page provides a summary of the criteria for the fund for reference purposes.

What types of activity did we fund?

Through Community Assets we looked for strong applications which:

  • were rooted in the community, were genuinely community-led and gave the community a stake in local decision-making
  • were connected to other organisations and services in the community
  • showed clearly the changes that would take place and why they were the best way to deliver these changes
  • showed the developments would be economically sustainable once our grant has ended.

We want to focus our funding where it will have the most impact so we prioritised applications that address disadvantage and inequality.

For some real-life examples, you can find case studies of community asset projects we have funded

Who was the fund open to?

The fund was open to organisations that were community-led, with open membership and a social purpose.

Organisations applying needed to have a governing body such as a committee or board. This governing body must have at least three unrelated people on it and a written governing document, such as a constitution. The governing document should be clear that the organisation has:

  • a social purpose – the organisation must have a clearly stated purpose which benefits your local area in some way
  • open membership – everyone living in your area should be able to get involved in your organisation and the work that it does
  • community control – the majority of people serving on your governing body should be from the local area and make the decisions.

We were also open to conversations with groups that didn’t meet the above criteria but were still representative of the people in their area.

We didn't accept applications from one organisation applying on behalf of another. Existing The National Lottery Community Fund grantholders were able to apply, but you could only have one Community Assets grant at a time.

What we we able to fund?

We wanted to provide longer term funding that offered community-led organisations stability to deliver great work, so we offered up to five years funding. This included capital funding (such as building or refurbishment costs), revenue funding (such as salaries and running costs) and the cost of acquiring an asset.

Although we encouraged match-funding in applications, we were able to fund up to 100% of activity costs, including staff, training, volunteer expenses, equipment, premises costs, evaluation and overheads.

You may also be interested in what we’ve learned from groups doing community asset transfer projects.

The National Lottery Community Fund is a living wage friendly funder. This means that we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Living Wage.

Please visit our Living Wage page for more information

Related documents


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