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Local Connections Fund

Book clubs, walking groups and other community projects will be able to apply to a £4 million fund designed to help reduce loneliness in the coming months. Aimed at small local charities and grassroots groups working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communities

The fund – made up of £2 million from the Government and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund – will be used for hundreds of small grants aimed at helping local organisations bring people and communities together as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

This round 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. So for example can be used to fund tablets, laptops etc as well as small improvements to your premises (if you have them) or training and development.

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.

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.

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.

Deadline for Round 1: 26 January 2021

Read more and apply here.