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National Lottery Project Grants changes: You said, we did

National Lottery Project Grants (NLPG) is always open to individuals and organisations, supporting arts, museums and libraries projects. It is made possible thanks to funding from National Lottery players.  

The programme has been around for some time, and every few years we update it to make sure it’s the best it can be for applicants and for the communities the investment serves. We last relaunched NLPG in November 2021 to align with our strategy for 2020-2030, Let’s Create, and to make sure we’re investing in communities that have been underrepresented in terms of public funding from us. 

Since then, we’ve been listening to you about how we can make NLPG more accessible to everyone who wants to apply for our funding. We asked for feedback from a wide range of applicants and you told us that the application form could be clearer and easier to complete. We’ve been working on some improvements and testing them with the people who gave us feedback.  

From November 2023, if you make an application to National Lottery Project Grants, you’ll use an updated application form and there’ll be updated resources to support you in preparing your application.  

We’ll publish the updated Guidance for Applicants in September so that you can get familiar with the changes before we introduce the updated application form. Between September and November, you’ll still be able to apply to the current version of NLPG.  

Here’s what you can expect from November… 

You said, we did! The key changes: 

Different applications for different funding amounts  

You said:  
The application form included too many questions with options that were confusing and took too long to complete for small amounts of funding.  

We did: 
From the autumn, the amount you’re applying for will determine which application form you complete. There’ll be a different application form for: 

  • £30,000 or under 
  • £30,001 to £100,000 
  • £100,001 or over 

You’ll only see questions that you’re required to answer and what we ask you will depend on the amount of money you’re requesting from us.  

More space to describe your project   

You said: 
You wanted more space to describe your project in the way you would like to.   

We did: 
In the new application form, we’re giving you more space to describe your project in your own words. We want to hear what your project means to you and those who will be experiencing it.  

Less reading if you’re applying for less funding 

You said: 
There was too much to read when making an application of less than £30,000.  

We did:
If you’re applying for £30,000 or less, you’ll no longer be required to read our strategy, Let’s Create, to make an application and you won’t be asked to write about how your project contributes to the outcomes of our strategy.  

We’re replacing questions that asked how your project responds to Let’s Create with more practical questions that use clearer language. We’ll use your answers to understand how your project will make a difference.  

What other improvements are we making? 

Resources to help you apply 

We’re developing new online resources to help you prepare to apply. They’re bite-sized and aimed at people who are new to applying for Arts Council funding. They cover helpful tips, starting points for project planning, and more. We’ll continue to build up more resources over time.  

Website updates   

We’ll make some changes to our website to make sure finding relevant information and guidance is more straightforward.  

We’ll continue to listen to users and make sure the programme meets the need of all applicants and plan to implement further improvements over time.   

Strategic Strands   

We’re refocusing two strands within NLPG – Nationally Significant Projects and Touring Projects.  

At £100,001 and over, Nationally Significant Projects will become Major Projects. It will be refocused on supporting cultural projects of scale and ambition that will help us to deliver the Let’s Create Outcome, A Creative and Cultural Country. It will support projects that help build a cultural sector that is innovative, collaborative and international. 

We’ll stop accepting Expressions of Interest for Nationally Significant Projects on 30 October 2023, and will start accepting Expressions of Interest for Major Projects on 1 December 2023. 

Touring Projects (Regional, National and International) will be refocused on the Outcome, Cultural Communities, and international aspects of A Creative and Cultural Country. It will support projects that help to re-establish and evolve touring ecologies at all scales and disciplines so that organisations and individuals are better able to manage post pandemic and other ongoing economic challenges. 

We’ll publish full guidance for both strands in September, alongside the updated NLPG Guidance for Applicants. 

Find out more about current Touring Projects >

Find out more about current Nationally Significant Projects >

Information and useful links 

Ready to apply now?   

Will you be ready to apply before November? The current version of the programme is still open and we’re welcoming applications now. Take a look at our existing application form, guidance, and resources.  

Take a look at the current guidance > 

Have a question? Before you get in touch, our FAQs section may already have an answer for you.  

Read the FAQs > 

Unsure if you could apply?  

Take our quiz to find out if your project is ready to apply to the current programme. If you’re not sure on any of the questions, it can direct you to guidance to help you think about that aspect of your activity.  

Take the quiz > 

Do you need any support? 

We’re committed to making our services and funding accessible to everyone. If you find it difficult to get advice or apply, we can help you. Access Support is available to Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent applicants and those experiencing poor physical or mental health.    

Contact Access Support > 

Customer services are available to help  

If there is something you need to know that isn’t covered by any of the above, our customer services team can help you by email, Monday – Friday.  

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