David Knott named as new National Lottery Community Fund CEO

18 Oct 2021 News

David Knott, CEO of NLCF

David Knott has been named as the new chief executive of the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF).

Knott was previously the most senior civil servant in charge of charities, as director for civil society and youth at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

He was initially seconded to the NLCF as a policy adviser a year ago, and has been interim chief executive since June.


In a statement published on the NLCF website, Knott said that the funder had increased its grant awards by 40% during the Covid-19 crisis, adding that he was “proud of this incredible effort and the professionalism and positive attitude of staff who made it possible. 

“At the same time, I’m humbled by the response of the communities we support. The pandemic has brought into sharp focus something I think we all knew to be true, but too often hidden from view: that communities are the heart of our nation, full of the connections with people and places that give us meaning, purpose and belonging.

“We have a major role to play in this new era of community renewal. At every step of the way you can rely on us to put communities first”.

'Fairness and inclusion will be at the heart of this organisation'

Knott also acknowledged that there were things the funder “could do better”. He said: “As we look ahead, increasingly confident and clear about our purpose, we must match this passion for the difference our service brings with a commitment to being the best we can be within the NLCF. 

“In my time here, I’ve seen what is great about this organisation, but I also know that it is vital we continue to learn and grow. 

“Where there are things that we could do better, you will see me listening, learning and then helping the organisation to take it on. Fairness and inclusion will be at the heart of this organisation, both in how we fund and how we behave as an employer. 

“These will be priority areas as we move forward. I want to ensure we are the best we can be.”

Blondel Cluff, the chair of the NLCF, said: “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.”

Calls to review role of NLCF

Knott became director for civil society and youth, then the Office for Civil Society, in 2017. Before that he worked in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the Cabinet Office, and at the Department for International Development.

He was named interim chief executive of the NLCF in June 2021, seven months after Dawn Austwick left her role in charge of the funder.

In his review of civil society last year, commissioned by the prime minister, Danny Kruger called on government to “review the role” of the NLCF.

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