National Lottery Funding: general conditions

All applications

  1. The information in these guidelines can change. The law and Government regulations on distributing National Lottery funds may also change. The BFI therefore reserves the right to review this funding programme and/or change its policies, procedures, eligibility and assessment criteria.
  2. The application form does not necessarily cover all the information the BFI uses to decide which applications to fund. The BFI can ask applicants for extra information and can take into account information obtained through its due diligence and how an applicant has managed any BFI funding previously awarded. The BFI will not support applications from an applicant which acts in a way or holds business connections (or receives funding from a third party which undertakes activities or holds business connections) which damage or which could reasonably be expected to damage the reputation of the BFI or the funding programme or the National Lottery. The BFI will not offer funding to an applicant that is unable to satisfactorily demonstrate that it is financially viable (a ‘going concern’) for the period of delivery of the application and for a reasonable time period after completion of the project.
  3. All applications are made at the applicant’s own risk. The BFI will not be liable for loss, damage or costs arising directly or indirectly from:
  • the application process;
  • the BFI’s decision not to provide an award to an applicant; or
  • dealing with the application.
  1. Please check your application form carefully. The BFI will not process applications which are incomplete, contain incorrect or misleading information or which do not comply with the programme guidelines. The BFI will also follow up cases of suspected fraud and will pass information to the police.
  2. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives members of the public the right to request certain information held by the BFI. This includes information held in relation to applications to the BFI’s National Lottery funding programmes or schemes. Therefore if you choose to apply to the BFI you should be aware that the information you supply, either in whole or in part, may be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.
  3. Data Protection: Part or all of the information you give us will be held on an internal grants management system for the administration of applications and awards. We may also use this information for the evaluation of our National Lottery programmes. We may provide copies of the information in confidence to further individuals or organisations who are helping us assess applications or monitor funding or to our auditors or the National Audit Office. We may be required to disclose information by the operation of UK law.  We may use a credit reference agency to validate information you have provided in your application. This is not a credit check and will not affect your ability to receive credit from other organisations. The credit reference agency we use may keep a record of the information, and may disclose the fact that a search of its records was made to its other clients, in order to stop fraud. By submitting an application, you are providing your informed consent (permission) for the BFI to run such an identity verification check, including its access, use and storage. If you have knowingly provided false or inaccurate information to us at any point, we may provide details to fraud prevention agencies. If you are a company this will include the names of the Company Directors at the time of the fraud. You must undertake to inform all Directors, Trustees and Committee members of this notice.
  4. Sometimes the BFI’s Governors or members of staff may be involved in some way with applicants. This interest has to be declared in applications from such applicants. The relevant Governor or staff member will not be involved in assessing the application or the decision to make an award. Applicants are advised not to try to influence the success of their application by approaching a Governor or staff member.
  5. The BFI’s decisions on applications are final.
  6. Complaints and Appeals: Inevitably applications will be turned down and applicants may be disappointed by this result. Formal appeals against the final decision will not be considered unless the applicant has good cause to believe that the procedures for processing the application were not adhered to, or applied in such a way as to prejudice the outcome of the application. A copy of the BFI’s Complaints and Appeals procedure can be viewed online.
  7. Monitoring & Evaluation: The BFI takes an evidence-based approach to distributing funds and we monitor delivery and impact to make sure our funding is working as hard as possible.  All applicants, regardless of the outcome of your application, may be asked to participate in evaluation conducted by us or on our behalf while the programme is open and for a reasonable time after it closes.  We will conduct and publish evaluations of programmes which, if you are successful in your application, may include project details and summary information from reports provided to us by you.
  8. Solicitation: The BFI has a limited power to solicit applications which allows us to directly invite an applicant or applicants to apply for a specific project or programme (beyond general encouragement or publicising a programme).  We may need to do this where it is clearly the most effective way of achieving an important objective of our National Lottery strategy that has not been achieved by the normal open process or where we have reasonable cause to be doubtful that an open, unsolicited call will result in any other suitable applications.  Solicitation does not guarantee success and if an application is solicited it will still be assessed against the criteria for the programme and may be turned down.  In order to ensure transparency around our use of National Lottery funds, we will confirm where a successful application has been solicited.

Successful applications

  1. The BFI will not pay any funding until it has received a fully executed copy of the offer of funding and any pre-conditions to that agreement have been satisfied or waived by the BFI.  The terms of funding vary according to the needs of each programme but will cover the provisions below.
  2. Your award must be used on your successful project as set out in your application or as changed in agreement with BFI.  You should not change your project without our prior written approval.
  3. National Lottery awards are intended to be for public benefit and not private gain.  Any non-budgeted income generated for the project after receipt of your offer of funding is expected to be applied in reduction of the Award amount unless BFI agrees that it can be applied in further enhancement of the project.   Any underspend on the total budget must be reimbursed to the BFI in the proportion that the amount of the award bears to the total budgeted cost.
  4. You will be required to deliver your project in a way that meets the stated objectives for the programme and the three cross-cutting principles for the BFI National Lottery Strategy 2023-2033. With regard to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability you will be required to work with the BFI or its appointed partners to finalise your planned activity, draw on specialist resources or expertise where the BFI can provide this or signpost you to it, and monitor the impact of your project in these areas.   
  5. The BFI will publicise information on the number of applications it receives and the awards made. This information will include the name of the successful applicant, award amount, project name and project details. This applies even if the offer is later rejected and/or any pre-conditions to the funding agreement are not met and the offer subsequently withdrawn.
  6. Subsidy control: all BFI National Lottery programmes will be designed to be compliant with the UK’s Subsidy Control Act 2022 and any other relevant subsidy control rules and regulations, as required by the UK government, which are subject to change. According to the terms of that Act, not all BFI National Lottery funding constitutes subsidy and we will confirm each time an award or a programme qualifies as subsidy.  In those instances and in order to meet subsidy transparency requirements, BFI will pass on details of any qualifying successful application which receives more than £100,000 of funding for inclusion on the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s subsidy transparency database.  The details to be published will include at a minimum: amount of subsidy received (the award amount); applicant name; applicant registration number (if applicable); applicant organisation size; region; sector.  These details will be published within 3 months of the date of the award.  This applies even if the offer is later rejected and/or any pre-conditions to the funding agreement are not met and the offer subsequently withdrawn.
  7. The BFI requires that any measures taken by successful applicants to address underrepresentation are fully in compliance with the Equality Act 2010 – see more at
  8. Recognition of the National Lottery: Since the very first National Lottery draw in 1994, public support – raised directly through National Lottery ticket sales – has funded more than 670,000 projects, raising more than £46 billion for good causes. As a recipient, it is important to publicly acknowledge the source of this funding throughout the lifespan of the project. Effectively communicating that the project is supported by BFI National Lottery funding ensures those engaging with the work recognise the value and benefit of this unique Good Cause funding.  Successful applicants will be responsible for prominently crediting BFI National Lottery funding and thanking National Lottery players, and where possible, capitalising on the most engaging and exciting elements of the project in order to reach the largest possible audience. Details on how to do this will be supplied once an award has been made.
  9. You should deliver your project with reasonable skill and care and in accordance with all relevant UK legislation.   You will be expected to conduct business legally, ethically and with the highest levels of integrity and comply with the laws of the UK against bribery and corruption including the Bribery Act 2010.
  10. You will be required to comply with relevant UK accounting practices and provide BFI with reasonable access to records and data including financial records relating to the successful project.
  11. You will need to routinely report on progress and delivery of your project and payment of the award will be in instalments and linked to such reporting.   
  12. The BFI terms of funding will entitle it to withhold or reclaim part or all of an award:
  • if the application was filled in dishonestly or with incorrect or misleading information about the organisation or the project whether deliberately or accidentally;
  • if the award recipient acts dishonestly or negligently to the disadvantage of the project or to the BFI and/or in respect of a previous application made to the BFI;
  • if the award recipient acts in a way or holds business connections (or receives funding from a third party which undertakes activities or holds business connections) which damage or which could reasonably be expected to damage the reputation of the BFI or the programme or the National Lottery or if the award recipient changes its business form to one that is unacceptable to the BFI acting reasonably and taking into account the purposes for which the award was made;
  • if the award recipient has failed to meet the conditions of funding relating to a previous successful award;
  • if the award recipient or its partner/s receive additional non-budgeted income for the project; or
  • if the award recipient is in material breach of any of the other provisions of the offer of funding.