A look at the impacts of 15 years of Lottery funding for ‘good causes’ including arts and culture

A look at the impacts of 15 years of Lottery funding for ‘good causes’ including arts and culture

By ECOTEC Research and Consulting Ltd
Lottery Distribution Bodies
Camelot Group plc


This report presents research into the impact Lottery funding of good causes – including arts and culture projects – has had in the 15 years since it was established. It covers such regeneration, the economy, natural environment, employment and enterprise, visitor activities, stronger communities, health and well-being. It concludes “strip away all the projects that National Lottery money has made possible over the last decade and a half, and Britain would be a sadder, poorer and greyer place.” Research shows the breakdown of how the money was distributed, size of grants, and includes several case studies that demonstrate the impacts.

Building stronger communities

As the funding provided to distribution bodies derives from the sale of National Lottery games purchased by a wide cross-section of the adult population, it is important that all sections of the community have the opportunity to apply for and benefit from that funding. With this in mind, a number of Lottery programmes have specifically focused on building the capacity of communities to address their own needs often through participation in the design, selection and/or delivery of subsequent Lottery funded projects. For example:

  • The Big Lottery Fund provides grants directly to voluntary organisations and small community groups for capacity building, most notably through its BASIS programme in England
  • The Awards for All programme has made it easier for small organisations to access small grants, where previously they might have been excluded by a lack of experience in preparing funding applications. Originally this programme received funding from a number of distributors and is now funded by the Big Lottery Fund, with other distributors running their own small grants schemes1
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Funding Impact
Resource type: Research | Published: 2013