A National Lottery report says £650m ($900m) has been invested in UK’s community infrastructure over the past five years.
According to the report, made by Connections Make Communities and published by the National Lottery Community Fund, the money was used to support almost 10,000 building renovations to make spaces greener, more accessible and more comfortable for local communities; as well as nearly 900 accessibility infrastructure improving projects (such as lifts and ramps).
Other projects include the creation of a guide for dementia-friendly village halls, a project which contains advice on how to properly design buildings welcoming people living with dementia.
In the past five years, 1,500 village halls and community centres across England and Wales have received funding of almost £120m from the National Lottery funding.
Power to Change is the funder’s largest investment in community enterprise. In the last five years, it was responsible for awarding over £85m for over 1,300 community businesses (such as shops, pubs and factories).
Local needs have also been addressed by giving out emergency funding to over 300 community businesses so they could keep running during the pandemic.
Faiza Khan MBE, Director of Engagement and Insight at The National Lottery Community Fund, commented: “This report highlights the impact money invested into community assets has on people’s lives across the UK. Places like village halls, community cafés and leisure centres are the heart of our communities and provide a focal point for people to come together, make connections and build friendships and support networks.”
The current UK lottery licence, operated by Camelot, is due to expire in 2023, which as expected, has drawn many competitors (such as Sisal, Sugal & Damani, Northern & Shell, Sazka) interested in one of the most profitable government-awarded private business contracts.