Culture secretary

Culture Secretary appoints Blondel Cluff CBE as chair of National Lottery Community Fund

In this role, she will set the long-term strategic direction of the UK’s largest funder of community activities, working with charities to enable people and communities to thrive.

In 2020, it distributed over £650m, thanks to National Lottery players, supporting over 13,000 community groups as part of the coronavirus response. Recipients ranged from radio shows for hospital patients to help them recover, to online music sessions for children and young people, helping to combat the loneliness of confinement.

Growing up in an Anguilla family, Blondel has been a lawyer for over 35 years, holding a number of senior public positions focusing on communities, education, health and heritage over the past two years. decades.

She was co-opted to the Prime Minister’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, with a focus on education, and is a member of the Windrush Cross Government Working Group, led by the Home Office.

Blondel recently retired from diplomatic service, having represented the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla, supporting the territory through Hurricane Irma, constitutional reform and in its preparations for Brexit as a border nation. of the EU.

She remains CEO of the West India Committee, a UK registered charity and royal chartered institution which is the custodian of a UNESCO-listed library and collection on the Caribbean and is an NGO consultant to the on Small Island Developing Nations and their Heritage. For the past six years, she has chaired the London and South Committee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and also chaired the London Committee of its predecessor, the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In 2018 she was awarded a CBE for her services to numismatic design and for her work with the Caribbean community in the UK and overseas.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Over the past year, the National Lottery Community Fund has given away hundreds of millions of pounds to support our dedicated charities which are playing a huge role in the national effort against coronavirus, providing a lifeline for those vulnerable to across the country.

I am delighted to appoint Blondel as the new president. Her extensive experience in charity and community work means she is uniquely placed to ensure that lottery funding helps us build back stronger after the pandemic and reflects the needs of people across the UK.

Blondel Cluff CBE said:

Communities are the lifeblood of a nation, and as such, I am honored to have the opportunity to support them as Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund at such an important time for us all.

In accordance with the legislation, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is officially responsible for the appointment of the members of the Board of Directors.

Ministers were assisted in their decision-making by an Evaluation Advisory Committee consisting of a departmental official and an independent senior member of the committee approved by the Public Appointments Commissioner.

She will replace acting president Tony Burton CBE.


Notes to editors:

  • The National Lottery Community Fund is a non-departmental executive public body, sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

  • Blondel Cluff will serve as Chairman of the National Lottery Community Fund from February 1, 2021 to February 1, 2025. The remuneration of the new NLCF Chairman will be £40,000 a year for up to two days a week.

  • She is a Fellow of King’s College London, where she was a college council member for several years, focusing on institutional change, governance and investment.

  • Blondel is a member of the Royal Mint Advisory Board which is responsible for the themes and designs depicted on British coinage. Author of various books on the Caribbean, Blondel regularly gives lectures on history and heritage.

  • This appointment process was conducted in accordance with the Code of Governance for Public Appointments.

  • Blondel was asked to declare any significant political activity undertaken in the past five years. This is defined as holding office, speaking in public, making a recordable donation, or standing for election. She reported no activity.