- Date: 9 July 2013
- Area: National, South West
National Lottery logo.
Three organisations supported by Arts Council England are among the 49 projects that have reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards, the annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects. The winning projects will be featured on a BBC One TV show in early September and, in addition to the Lottery funding they have already received, will receive a £2,000 cash prize to invest in their work. Voting is now open and ends at midnight on Wednesday 24 July. To register your vote, visit the National Lottery Awards website.
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said, "The work of Lottery funded projects, including those which receive funding through Grants for the arts and our Strategic funds, do a great deal to support arts and culture in the UK. The National Lottery Awards recognise the tremendous difference that such projects make to people, places and communities across the country as well as celebrating the talent and dedication of the people who run them. The awards also highlight the importance of investment to enable everyone to access and benefit from experiencing great art and culture."
Seven Stories, the UK's National Centre for Children's Books, is competing in the education category. Based in the heart of some of Britain's most disadvantaged communities in the North East, it received £660,000 in lottery funding from the Arts Council and £352,249 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The centre welcomes over 70,000 visitors a year and attracts some of the biggest names in children's literature to work with them to stage exhibitions and to take part in events. Seven Stories also cares for the only collection in the world that tells the story of modern British children's literature which includes original manuscripts and artwork by more than 100 authors and illustrators, including Judith Kerr, Enid Blyton and Philip Pullman.
Kate Edwards, Chief Executive, Seven Stories commented, "Children's books are an essential part of our childhood, national heritage and culture. Everything we do at Seven Stories is aimed at inspiring children and adults to be curious, imaginative and creative. We strive to ensure people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part and enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure. It is a tremendous honour to be nominated for a National Lottery Award and we hope we can harness the energy and support of everyone young and old to vote for us and make us a winner."
The Grade II listed Porthmeor Studios and Cellars in St Ives has been home to both fishermen and artists for over 130 years and is a finalist in the heritage category. Originally built on the beachfront to process and pack pilchards, the building later played host to a community of artists including Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron and Francis Bacon. Over time it began to fall into disrepair but National Lottery funding enabled it to avoid commercial development and the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust set about an ambitious restoration project.
Trust Manager, Chris Hibbert said, "The roof had failed so the building was full of damp and rot. If it wasn't for our supporters and the National Lottery funding this unique connection between fishing and art would have been lost."
Three years later the building once again provides high quality workspace for artists and fishermen alike and, following the discovery of the original stone floor and tools, also hosts educational sessions for the region's schoolchildren, with costumed tours and net-making.
Culture Warrington's Pyramid has made it through to the finals in the arts category. National Lottery funding of £2.4 million radically transformed two disused buildings into Pyramid, a cutting edge centre for the arts which opened in 2002. It was the catalyst in creating Warrington's Cultural Quarter and for the physical regeneration of the town centre. With seven different performance spaces, it hosts comedy, dance, drama and music performances and encourages anyone of any ability to become involved with the arts.
Jan Souness, Managing Director of Culture Warrington said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Pyramid is one of three venues managed by Culture Warrington that offers accessible arts opportunities for the entire community. Without National Lottery funding, Pyramid would not be here, and this nomination is also a credit to Warrington Borough Council and all those who had the vision to create the Pyramid and support the activities and events and to the exceptional team that work hard to offer something for everyone at this unique venue".
Voting on all the categories is now open and ends at midnight on Wednesday 24 July. To register your vote, visit the National Lottery Awards website.