With the Great Exhibition of the North shining a spotlight on all that is great about the North of England, one of the event’s main sponsors has lifted the lid on how much the region’s communities have benefitted from National Lottery funding since its launch more than 20 years ago.
The Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has revealed that over £3.4 billion of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes has been awarded to communities across the region.
More than 45,000 projects in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber have received this vital funding since 1995 – with supported projects ranging from small village halls to huge local landmarks.
When it comes to grants, 90% are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities. This money has helped make a difference to communities in villages, towns and cities across the region.
The Big Lottery Fund is releasing the figures to mark the launch of this summer’s Great Exhibition of the North, where it is funding a programme to boost the skills, knowledge and experience of the army of volunteers working at the event.
It is using the opportunity to look at some of the amazing projects that have used its funding to bring out the best in communities across the North of England.
You may even be surprised to find out some of the projects on your doorstep that National Lottery funding has supported over the years!
- Green Futures (Grimsby)
Green Futures provide gardening and horticultural volunteering opportunities for men who have a mental or physical health issue or a disability. These activities bring people together to combat social isolation and depression, as well as improving their skills and knowledge.
- York Rescue Boat (York)
The group used their National Lottery funding to train more volunteers which has enabled the flood rescue service to be available 24/7 to save lives in times of flooding.
- Foxhill Forum Limited (Sheffield)
Foxhill have developed a community befriending service targeted at socially isolated people. Befriending has led to an increase in confidence and interaction, a reduction in feelings of isolation, and improved wellbeing amongst people in Sheffield.
- Chapeltown Youth Development Centre (Leeds)
The group provide support and diversionary activities for disengaged young people from BAMER backgrounds, alongside training and creative opportunities. This enables young people to become more confident, resilient, and make better choices, which improves their future prospects.
- Great Exhibition of the North (NewcastleGateshead)
The Great Exhibition of the North will be the biggest event in England this year. It is free to attend and will tell the inspiring story of the North of England and how its innovators, businesses, artists and designers have shaped our present and are inspiring our future. It is expected to reach an audience of three million people, including more than one million visitors from across the UK and overseas.
James Harcourt, England Grant Making Director for Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Great Exhibition of the North is a celebration of the pioneering spirit of the North of England, which stems from the people and communities that live and work in the region.
“As the UK’s largest funder of community activity we’re proud that National Lottery money is supporting this event. It’s also a great opportunity to reflect on the huge range of inspirational projects we have funded across the North of England that have brought people together to make great things happen in their communities.”