£12million lottery win for resort projects

David Winterbottom, steward at the Royal British Legion, in their new lottery funded kitchen
David Winterbottom, steward at the Royal British Legion, in their new lottery funded kitchen

From a new kitchen to King Kong – Blackpool received more than £12m of National Lottery funding last year to kickstart projects in the town.

From a new kitchen to King Kong – Blackpool received more than £12m of National Lottery funding last year to kickstart projects in the town.

Children enjoying sports at East Pines Park in Blackpool thanks to National Lottery funding

Children enjoying sports at East Pines Park in Blackpool thanks to National Lottery funding

Which just goes to show even if you do not hit the jackpot personally, some of the cash from ticket sales does get invested in our area.

Now National Lottery organisers are searching for the nation’s favourite Lottery-funded projects with an extra boost of £3,000 for the winners.

Here in Blackpool schemes which secured funding last year range from a sports programme which received nearly £10,000 to a £10m grant for mental health services for young people.

A total of 38 Lottery grants were handed out in Blackpool last year.

Blackpool youngsters celebrate after securing �10m of Lottery funding for the town's Headstart programme.  L-R are Jonathan Hillier, Bethany Whipp, Courtney Ward, James Hussey, Courtney Staff and Sam Steele.

Blackpool youngsters celebrate after securing �10m of Lottery funding for the town's Headstart programme. L-R are Jonathan Hillier, Bethany Whipp, Courtney Ward, James Hussey, Courtney Staff and Sam Steele.

They also included £48,000 to the Illuminations for the Lightpool Festival which saw six nights of events to celebrate Blackpool’s unique relationship with light including a four kilometre trail of illuminated art.

Creating a buzz in a different way was a £248,534 grant to Urban Organic Community Interest Company for a project to use gardening and beekeeping as therapeutic tools.

This was targeted at residents who may feel socially isolated.

The biggest winner was the Headstart programme which received £10m following the success of a £500,000 pilot project.

Fingers crossed it's YOU!

Fingers crossed it's YOU!

This money is being used to reach every single one of Blackpool’s 10,937 10 to 16-year-olds who might need help due to mental health issues in a bid to make them more resilient to the problems life can throw at them.

From today, these examples, or any organisation that has ever received National Lottery funding, has the possibility of gaining nationwide acclaim by entering The National Lottery Awards 2017 – the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

John Barrowman, presenter of the National Lottery Awards show, said: “The National Lottery Awards are a fabulous celebration of the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects as voted for by the public.

“The awards rightly put the focus on ordinary people doing extraordinary things with National Lottery funding, whose efforts go such a long way and are indeed changing lives.

“National Lottery players can be very proud to have contributed towards 
their fine work.”

If you wish to nominate your favourite project in this year’s National Lottery Awards, tweet @LottoGoodCauses with your suggestions or call 0207 293 3329 to find out more and to enter.

Entries must be received by midnight on April 7.

The Grand Theatre has used its Lottery grant of £680,000 to involve more people in the arts.

Residents are taking part in creative workshops associated with ambitious productions which last year included the groundbreaking ‘Absent’.

Audiences were taken on a magical mystery tour of the Winter Gardens as part of a presentation commissioned by the Grand Theatre mixing film and architecture

The funding was distributed as part of the Ambition for Excellence programme designed to stimulate and support ambition, talent and excellence in the arts, particularly outside London.

The second phase is now underway and this September will see a King Kong-themed event in the town, taking place for 12 months starting in September.

Ruth Eastwood, chief executive of the Grand Theatre, said: “Our funding has been for unusual, large-scale events in the town.

“Last year we had a big installation at the Winter Gardens and leading up to the event we employed around 40 local people including trades people to build the sets, ushers and performers.

“Around 250 people took part.

“The second part of the project will be Kong Live which is being written by Frank Cotterall Boyce.

“The lead up to it involves working with people in different parts of the town such as Mereside and Claremont to contribute to the production, for example through dance and creative workshops.”

It will be launched in September and take place in different spaces around Blackpool, and in Fleetwood.

Among smaller projects to win funding was the Royal British Legion Club in King Street.

It received £10,000 to install a new kitchen enabling the club for ex-servicemen and women to serve hot food for the first time.

Now it puts on ‘Wacky Wednesdays’ when visitors to the venue can enjoy a free meal.

Branch president Jack Swan said: “We’ve used our Lottery grant to put in a new kitchen which has made a great deal of difference to us.

“Before we could only serve sandwiches, but now people can have a hot meal while they are enjoying the music or entertainment here.

“We are a very popular club, and get visitors from all over the country, so it’s important we could offer them a bit more.” The Friends of East Pines Park secured £9,875 for a community sports programme.

Anchorsholme councillor Paul Galley said: “The Lottery in conjunction with Sport England were brilliant.

“They allowed us to fund a summer of sports coaching run by Sport Blackpool to local children and young adults.

“The main result of the programme was to reduce anti-social behaviour in the area and help local children and parents to feel part of something really special.

“One of the legacies of the programme is the park became the centre of the community and is now widely seen as a solution to problems and not the source of them.

“We are aiming to continue the programme this year.”

The £12.1m handed out in Blackpool includes:

£10m 
to Headstart to tackle mental

health issues among young people

£48,000

to the Illuminations for the

Lightpool Festival

£680,000

to the Grand Theatre from Arts Council England as part of their Ambition for Excellence programme

£248,534

to Urban Organic CIC for a project to use gardening and beekeeping as therapeutic tools to tackle social isolation, poor diet and a lack of mental and sensory stimulation.

£10,000

to the Blackpool Royal British Legion Club to upgrade their facilities

£70,000

to Blackpool Council for the Wordpool, Arts and Libraries Festival of Words

£9,875

to the Friends of East Pines Park for the East Pines community sports programme