National Lottery Open Fund for Organisations

This fund aims to support organisations who seek funding to undertake creative activity such as a specific project or production, a programme of creative work, or a period of research and development.


  1. What the fund supports
  2. Eligibility
  3. Funding Criteria
  4. Funding amounts
  5. Deadlines
  6. How to apply

What the fund supports

The fund will continue to support organisations to deliver a wide range of creative activity.

This includes funding for:

  • a specific one-off project or production or
  • a period of creative research and development or
  • longer term programme of work.

It can also support organisations to undertake business and organisational development that will:

  • enhance their business sustainability through the development of new or more diverse income streams


  • consider broader organisational development costs.

Examples of the types of activity that the fund can support can be found in the Guidance for Applicants below. It is not exhaustive and is provided to give applicants an indication of the types of activity that can be applied for. If you have any queries about what you are wanting to apply for, please contact our Enquiries Service before starting your application.


Any type of constituted artistic, creative or cultural organisation based in Scotland can apply, but as the funding comes from the National Lottery, and is intended to support activity that maximises public benefit, any project that seeks support for commercial activity where the primary purpose is to create a profit is unlikely to be successful.

For full eligibility information, read the Guidance for Applicants.

Funding Criteria

All applicants are required to consider the six key funding criteria when making their application. For further information on these criteria, why they are important and the outcomes they will help to contribute towards, visit the Funding Criteria page.

Funding amounts

Eligible organisations can apply for funding between £1k and £100k for projects or programmes lasting up to 18 months.

If you are seeking more than £100k and 18 months support refer to the National Lottery Extended Programme Fund.

We have sample budgets available to support you in your application:


The fund is open all year round – with no deadlines.

Applicants will receive a decision on their application:

  • within 8 working weeks of submission (if applying for under £20k)
  • within 12 working weeks of submission (if applying for between £20k – £100k)

Please note that these timelines are impacted by Christmas public holidays for applications received between October and December. See Page 8 in the Guidance for Applicants for more details.

How to apply

Once you've read the Guidance for Applicants, and details of the Funding Criteria, you can apply online using our online application portal.

Apply now

Apply to the National Lottery Open Fund for Organisations using the online portal