Arts Council England reopens National Lottery Project Grants Scheme

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced the reopening of its funding scheme for those who did not or could not apply during the first round of ACE funding applications.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants reopened on 22 July 2020 with a budget of £59.8 million and will be accepting applications until April 2021. This round of funding aims to provide grants of £1,000–£100,000, with specific focus on individuals whose work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and are currently unable to apply for closed ACE programmes like Developing your Creative Practice.


ACE will use four criteria categories to assess applications for these grants, looking at Quality, Public Engagement, Finance and Management; with the most notable update to this process being the removal of the 10% match funding requirement that was part of the last round of assessments.

As a result of COVID-19 circumstances, support will particularly be given to:

  • applications from individual creative practitioners (including time to think and plan)
  • research and development activity
  • organisational development activity
  • live activity that can be safely delivered within this period (rather than activity with a start date far in the future)
  • activity that closely aligns with ACE Equality Objectives.

How to apply

There are three steps to National Lottery Project Grant applications:

  • Applicants are first required to fill out a quiz to determine whether or not a project is ready to receive funding through this programme.
  • Supplementary guidelines should be read through thoroughly. These have been provided to help answer any FAQs that may arise during the application process.
  • Applicants can then create an account on Grantium. Applications require a new applicant profile, which can take up to ten working days to be approved.

Although notification of successful applicants will depend on how many applications are received for the project, ACE is aiming to turn applications for under £15,000 around more quickly than the six weeks that standard applications take.

To find out more and apply, visit

You can find the supplementary notes for applying for this project here.