David Knott becomes National Lottery Community Fund CEO in permanent role

David Knott has been appointed as the new CEO of the UK National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF), after serving in the role in an interim capacity for four months.

In his first role as NLCF CEO, Knott has commissioned the ‘Putting Communities First’ report, outlining the fund agenda to support local communities over the next 12 months as the organisation places community support as one of its focal objectives following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last five years, we’ve backed more than 72,000 community projects through over £3.4bn of grants,” Knott remarked. “This money is life-changing for people and communities, which is why I am delighted to be leading The National Lottery Community Fund into the next, exciting new chapter.

“As we build back from the pandemic, my commitment is to put communities first. The National Lottery Community Fund will be there to support people and communities to prosper and thrive, and we’ll redouble our efforts to have the greatest possible impact we can across the UK.”

Knott first took on the position of interim CEO in June 2021 after Dawn Austwick stepped down from the position, putting an end to a seven-year tenure.

Prior to joining the fund in October 2020, Knott had gained considerable experience in public service, including a period spent as Director for Civil Society and Youth with responsibility for policy on charities, volunteering, philanthropy, dormant assets, impact investment, mission-led business and young people.


Additionally, Knott also has experience of the private sector, and worked internationally as an advisor on governance and public policy in more than a dozen countries.

Blondel Cluff CBE, Chair of The NLCF, commented: “I am delighted to welcome David Knott as the new Chief Executive. He will lead our organisation forward and ensure that it is confident, accountable and purposeful.

“National Lottery players raise £36m a week for good causes – we are privileged to be trusted shared custodians of this public money and to be supporting communities as they emerge from a challenging period in which the true value of community was demonstrated so vividly. 

“We will be there to support – putting communities first in all we do. To achieve this, we must be able to demonstrate the difference we are making and to use impact evidence to shape our future direction.”

Knott’s appointment comes as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) moves ahead with the Fourth National Lottery Licence competition, which will decide the operator of the lottery for the next 10 years.

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