Places Called Home

The Crafty Gardener

This programme is closed to applications.

IKEA Limited and The National Lottery Community Fund have come together to support thriving, resilient and sustainable communities across the UK.

Places Called Home explores the idea that communities can become as important to us as our homes. It aims to inspire and help people get more involved in their local community as a positive, homely place to be and meet other people.

We can fund equipment or materials to improve your community’s shared spaces and run activities that focus on sustainable living.

Suitable for
Small local voluntary or community organisations and groups
Funding size
£1,000 to £5,000
Total available
£1.5 million
Application deadline

Closed to applications. Any applications that are still in progress will no longer be able to be submitted.

How to apply

This programme is closed. Any applications that are still in progress will no longer be able to be submitted.

We only have a certain amount of funding to award

We’re expecting a lot of applications, and many of them will be for really worthwhile projects. This means we will have to make some difficult decisions. There are often lots of projects we cannot fund, even good ones.

We can only make 300 awards for this pilot partnership programme. We’ve taken the difficult decision to only accept up to 1,500 applications (or close to applications on 14 July 2021 if this comes sooner). All applications received will be assessed at the same time.

We realise this is not a perfect solution. We’ve worked with relevant networks to tell certain organisations and groups about this programme in advance. This is so they can do some work to get them to the same starting point as those who are more experienced in applying for funding from us.

We’ll prioritise applications from groups who:

  • have not received funding from us before
  • do not have a current award with us
  • are smaller organisations or groups with an annual turnover of under £100,000.
  • Other organisations can apply but please consider these factors first.

Make sure you check who can and cannot apply before filling out the application form.

How long will it take to get a decision?

We will aim to tell you a decision in around three months.

If it's difficult or impossible for you to complete an application form

You can contact us if you have any communication support needs. We’re happy to talk about other ways for you to tell us about your idea.

What information you need to apply

We ask for two different people from your organisation to be our contacts for the project:

  • one person should be someone we can talk to if we have any questions about your project
  • the other person should be a senior member of your organisation, who'll be legally responsible for the funding.

Both need to live in the UK.

We need their:

  • names
  • contact details
  • home addresses
  • dates of birth.

Both contacts need to have different email addresses.

You’ll need to let the senior contact know you’re including their information as part of the application.

These two people cannot be:

  • related by blood
  • married to each other
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • living together at the same address.

We ask for the legal name of your organisation - and its address. And what type of organisation it is

Make sure these are up to date and match up with any information or identity documents we ask for (when you get to the application part). Your organisation’s ‘legal name’ may not be the same as your day-to-day name. Your legal name is the one shown on your governing document (like your constitution, trust deed, memorandum or articles of association).

We ask for information about your organisation’s accounts

We want to know the date your accounts wrap up each year and how much income you have. If you do not have yearly accounts because you’re a new organisation (less than 15 months old), that’s okay. We can still look at your application.

We ask for a bank statement from the last three months

It should show:

  • your organisation's legal name
  • the address the statements are sent to
  • your bank's name the account code and sort number
  • the date the statement was issued.

Here’s a picture of the kind of bank statement we’re looking for.

We can only transfer money into a regulated UK-based bank or building society protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Your account must also require at least two unconnected people to approve all transactions and withdrawals.

We’re sorry but we’ll have to reject your application if you do not give us:

  • the full and correct information we’re looking for, or
  • enough of the evidence we’re asking you for.

We ask you for information about what sort of project you’d like to do

And how your project will meet the criteria listed in ‘The projects we fund’.

What happens after you apply

  1. You send us your application - we'll get back to you with a decision in around three months. During this time, we look at your idea and do our security checks. You can find out more about the checks we do. If we need more information about your idea to help with our decision, we might give you a call or send you an email.
  2. If your application is successful - we'll send you an email with the good news. You can start your project as soon as you get this email if you want to. We’ll put the funding in your bank account within 14 days (or sooner, if possible)
  3. If your application is unsuccessful - IKEA Limited will be in touch to ask a few questions about your application. They want to contact everyone who applied, whether they were given the funding or not. It’ll be up to you if you want to take part.  
  4. You can start spending the funding on your project - you should spend the funding the way you said you would in your application (unless we’ve agreed to something different first). We might check in from time to time - to see how things are going. 
  5. Share your story - let people know about your grant and the amazing work you're doing in your community. Sharing news about your project with your community can be a great way to keep them involved and engaged. Your award email will also include details on how to publicise your grant and let people know about how your project is supporting people in your community.

We also ask you to read and agree to our terms and conditions

You can read the terms and conditions.

If you’re not sure about the sort of things we ask for when you apply

Contact us.

You can also read our Data Protection Statement to find out how we use the personal data you give us.

Who can and cannot apply

Who can apply

You can apply if you are a:   

  • voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • constituted group or club
  • not-for-profit company or Community Interest Company
  • school (as long as your project benefits and involves the communities around the school)
  • statutory body (including town, parish and community council)..

If you’re a smaller organisation

We’re keen to fund smaller organisations and groups too. So we’ll look at your income when we’re making a decision.

We cannot accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations that are aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • one individual or organisation applying on behalf of another
  • people under the age of 18.

Board or committee members

It’s really important that organisations that apply have at least two people on their board or committee who are not related.

By related, we mean:

  • married to each other
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • living together at the same address
  • related by blood.

All companies who apply must have at least two directors who are not related in any of these ways. This also applies to companies that are also registered as charities.

If you’re a school or an organisation working in a school

Your project needs to strengthen the community outside of the school too. It should benefit and involve more than just:

  • teachers
  • pupils
  • parents of pupils.

We will not fund school projects that:

  • improve school facilities or equipment that are not available for the wider community to use
  • help with staff training
  • are part of the school curriculum
  • involve activities the school should already be providing (like a project teaching literacy during school hours)
  • take place during teaching times (before and after school might be okay).

We cannot accept multiple applications from the same group or organisation.

If you’re not sure if you can apply

Contact us. The team will be happy to help. You can also check what other funding programmes you might be able to apply to.

The projects we fund

Your project will need to meet at least two of these criteria:

  • It builds on the relationships created during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase community activity and the number of people taking part.
  • It encourages people to work together, creating opportunities for communities to live in a sustainable and healthy way.
  • It raises awareness amongst the public of the importance of connected households, neighbourhoods and resilient communities. 
  • It develops a new idea, activity or way to come together that has emerged in response to the pandemic. 
  • It revives or redesigns community and common spaces to encourage shared community activities.  

You can apply if you have a current grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. We’ll consider how this funding would complement and impact on existing awards during the assessment process.

We’ll prioritise applications from groups who:

  • have not received funding from us before
  • do not have a current award with us
  • are smaller organisations with an annual turnover of under £100,000.

Other organisations can apply but please consider these factors before you take the time to apply.

We recognise that activities will need to respond to specific lockdown rules and regulations. We also know these are likely to vary across the UK. We understand that projects will need to stay flexible about what they are able to do. We’ll be as flexible as we can too.

We'll support a range of projects

We're keen that projects reflect a mix of communities and places from across the UK. We’ll make sure there’s a geographical spread of funding across the UK and a range of activities being delivered across the projects.

We'll take this into account when assessing your application against others that we receive.

You must involve your community in your project

We believe that people understand what's needed in their communities better than anyone else. It’s important to us that you involve your community in the design, development, and delivery of the activities you’re planning.

This short video explains it well - It might be helpful when you’re putting your application together.

Delivering your project in Welsh 

If your project will be delivered in Wales as one of the countries within the UK, you'll need to be aware of The National Lottery Community Fund’s grant condition on working bilingually. All services provided by the project will need to be available in Welsh and English at the same time across all communities in Wales. Read our guidance on managing your project bilingually.  

If your project works with children, young people or vulnerable adults

You need to have a policy in place that explains how they'll be safe. We might ask to see this policy if we decide to give you funding. The NSPCC have lots of helpful advice about setting up and following good child safeguarding policies.

If you're not sure about the sort of projects we fund

You can always contact us. 

What you can spend the money on

We can pay for activities or items, costing between £1,000 and £5,000 that will help to revive your community.

These could be equipment or materials to renew your community’s shared spaces or activities that focus on sustainable living.

You must spend the money within nine months of your award.

This list does not include everything. So, if you're not sure, contact us.

We can fund:

  • events and activity costs (though not celebratory events)
  • equipment and materials
  • refurbishment costs
  • staff costs 
  • training costs 
  • transport 
  • utilities/running costs related to your idea 
  • volunteer expenses 
  • translation costs (for example, into other languages like Welsh)
  • small land or building projects - you’ll need to either:
    • own the land or building
    • have a lease that cannot be ended for five years
    • have a letter from the owner saying the land or building will be leased to you for at least five years, or
    • have an official letter from the owner or landlord that says you're allowed to do work on the building
    • and you should also think about getting planning permission for the work.

You should consider the environmental impact of your project and try to reuse, reduce and recycle where possible.

We cannot fund:

  • activities outside the UK
  • alcohol
  • items which will only benefit an individual or family, rather than the wider community 
  • contingency costs, loans, endowments or interest
  • feed-in tariff payments
  • political activities
  • religious activities (although we can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and does not include religious content) 
  • profit-making/fundraising activities
  • VAT you can reclaim
  • statutory activities (for example, we can only fund school activities that are additional to the curriculum) 
  • overseas travel
  • activities that generate profits for private gain 
  • costs that have already been incurred 
  • work on land or buildings where you do not meet our requirements around land ownership and permissions - read 'The projects we fund' for further information.

If you’re not sure if you can apply 

Contact us. The team will be happy to help. You can also check what other funding programmes you might be able to apply to.