Local Connections Fund

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image depciting Local Connections Fund

The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help 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 & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £2 million each.

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.

Two rounds of funding
The Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding. DCMS will provide the first £2 million round of funding – which will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. This first round will be open for applications on 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021.

Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.

The second round of funding will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and will launch in the summer of 2021.

Grants from the first round of funding will strengthen and develop small and micro organisations that connect communities together and reduce loneliness.

What the funding’s for
The funding will help to bring people together in safe and secure ways – including by covering the costs of technologies and equipment that will help people feel more connected within their communities.

Funding can also be used to help strengthen organisations and their services through, for example, training and development.

People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone. We know that different groups within different communities have different needs and so will need different levels of support. We want to hear directly from organisations as to 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. But 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 local charities and grassroots groups working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communitiesFunding size£300 to £2,500Total available£2 million in phase 1 – successful applicants must spend their grants and have completed their projects by 31 March 2021Application deadline

26 January 2021