Department for Culture Media and Sport


National Lottery funding is distributed by independent distribution bodies. Their decisions are based on the published criteria of each of their different Lottery funding programmes.

Distribution bodies make their grant decisions independently of Government and of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in response to applications for funding which they receive directly.

To apply for a Lottery grant from one of the distribution bodies, visit the Lottery Good Causes website, or telephone the Lottery Funding Hotline on 0845 275 0000 for advice on which distribution body to contact.

There are currently 13 distribution bodies responsible for distributing Lottery money:

How ticket sale income is used

The income from each ticket sale is worked out according to a formula set out in the operating licence. To complete  the phased change to the Lottery Shares, sport, arts and heritage now each receive 20 per cent of this income and the Big Lottery Fund receives the remaining 40 per cent.

The distribution process

Camelot plc, operator of the Lottery games, passes proceeds from the sale of  Lottery tickets to the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF). The Fund, administered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, passes the money to the distributors.

Distribution bodies are required to calculate the amount of money which they expect to pay in Lottery grants and cover operating costs. Distributors are not allowed to draw down money in advance of need.

Where monies are not yet required, for example because successful grant recipients are not yet in a position to spend their Lottery grant, or have agreed staged payments, the amount is invested until required, by the National Debt Commissioners for the benefit of the NLDF.

Income from the investment returns on balances held by the NLDF is used for future grants. Distribution budgets are based on both Lottery income and investment returns.