Future of delayed £50m NLCF fund for black and ethnic minority-led charities in ‘real doubt’



A £50m National Lottery Community Fund fund for black and ethnic minority-led charities has been delayed by about six months and its future appears uncertain, Third Sector has learned.


The NLCF declined to confirm that the £50m Phoenix Way programme would go ahead, nine months after saying that the scheme would support BAME-led charities over the next five years by collaborating with “leaders and decision-makers at the very heart of those communities”.


A source familiar with the programme described the process so far as “a real nightmare”.

The Phoenix Way was announced last summer. The NLCF pledged to fund the programme, which would be designed and delivered through a partnership with 14 organisations including The Ubele Initiative, Imkaan, Lives of Colour and the Global Fund for Children.


The NLCF said at the time that, by targeting support to BAME communities in England, the initiative would “ensure that National Lottery funding is genuinely for everyone”.


But the Phoenix Way missed its initial target to start awarding grants in the autumn and Third Sector understands that frustration is growing both inside the NLCF and among others involved with the scheme about its lack of progress.


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