Down Right Brilliant

Northern Ireland

Down Right Brilliant

Big Lottery Fund is the largest community funder in the UK. Each year we distribute millions of pounds of The National Lottery’s good causes money to community groups and charitable projects around the country.

What funding is available?

What funding is available?

Awards for All Northern Ireland

£300–£10,000

  • Projects bringing local people together to make positive changes in their community.
  • No deadline, so groups can apply any time.
  • Applying is quick and simple.
  • Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, schools, and statutory bodies.
  • If we funded you within the last two years, we may have to give priority to other groups that have not recently been funded through this programme.
  • This funding is for projects that will run for 12 months or less

People and Communities

£30,000–£500,000

  • Project ideas should come from the community. Talk to the people you want to help and get them involved in shaping and planning the project.
  • Your project should make good use of the skills, knowledge, resources and energy of people within your community; making it stronger and ready for the future.
  • Understand the need for your project and how it fits with the work of other organisations. Build relationships and work together on shared goals.
  • Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, and social enterprises.
  • This funding is for projects that will run for between 2 and 5 years.

Empowering Young People

£30,000–£500,000

  • This funding is for projects that work with young people (8 – 25 years old), and which will run for between 2 and 5 years.
  • Projects will help young people to: have the skills they need for the future; have better relationships with their support networks and communities; and/or have improved health and wellbeing.
  • Young people must be involved in the planning and delivery of the project. They must be able to develop the skills to help themselves, and their support networks and communities need to be involved too.
  • Applications welcome from constituted voluntary or community organisations, and social enterprises.

We’d like to talk to you about your ideas early on so we can give you the best funding advice, so please call our team on 028 9055 1455.

Funding in Northern Ireland

Funding in Northern Ireland

A snapshot of funding in Northern Ireland for 2016/17

  • 641 grants in total, across every local authority area
  • 555 awards to VCSE organisations with an income of less than £1m
  • 92% of grants are Awards for All and for £10,000 or less
  • 50% of grants were to groups applying to us for the first time

Here are some examples of beneficiaries supported by our funding

  • £13.8m awarded to projects supporting young people
  • 7.4m awarded to projects supporting people to improve their mental health
  • 9.4m awarded to projects supporting people with disabilities
About the ideas we support

About the ideas we support

We believe people should be in the lead when improving their lives and communities. We focus on the potential in people’s ideas, and on the skills and energy people already have that they can draw on. We ask what matters to communities, not what’s the matter with them.

We are interested in ideas that:

  • Involve people from the community right from the start – we want them to be involved in the development, design and delivery of a project.
  • Bring people together and strengthen relationships in and across communities.
  • Encourage people and organisations to work together to make a difference in their community.

We do this through:

  • Funding grassroots projects that bring people and communities together.
  • Asking groups to contact us early on so we can give advice and support, including feedback about which of our funding programmes is right for them.
  • Offering a range of flexible funding and support to make sure we’re able to help the biggest range of groups.
  • Helping organisations to share their learning with others.