Local Connections Fund

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The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to support charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Support (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £2 million each into the programme.

This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300-£2500 so that small local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.

This is the second round of the Local Connections Fund, a £4 million investment designed to help small charities and community groups working to reduce loneliness by building community connections across England.

The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, is investing £2 million into this second round of funding. This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.

By a ‘community’, we mean people:

  • living in the same area – like a city, town or street
  • who share characteristics – like beliefs, values, interests or faith
  • who can be grouped together in some other way.

Two rounds of funding

The Local Connections Fund has been split into two equal rounds of funding. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) provided the first £2 million, which was distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund and completed at the end of March 2021.

The second round of funding is provided by The National Lottery Community Fund.

If you received funding in Round 1, you will not be eligible for funding in Round 2.

What the funding’s for

The funding is aimed at bringing people together in safe and secure ways, making people aware of what services are available to reduce loneliness and to build lasting connections.

People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone. We know that groups within various communities will have different needs and will need different levels of support. We want to hear directly from organisations about who in their community needs additional assistance.

Who can apply

Organisations can still apply, even if they already have existing grants with The National Lottery Community Fund. You cannot apply for costs which have been funded by other means, including Government or National Lottery funding. If duplicate funding does occur, we’ll take action to recover these funds.AreaEnglandSuitable forSmall (with an income below £50,000), constituted, local charities and community groups working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communities.Funding size£300 to £2,500Total available£2 million in Round 2 – successful applicants must have completed their project and spent their grant by 30 November 2021Application deadline

Applications open – 28 June 2021 at 10am

Applications close – 6 August 2021 at 5pm

Visit the National Lottery Community Fund website here for more information.

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