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The National Lottery Community Fund Chair's inaugural tour to Wales

Blondel Cluff CBE visited several National Lottery funded projects in Wales this week, a few months after being appointed Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund UK Board.

She started her tour of Wales at Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club in Cardiff, which has been awarded funding of £295,543 from The National Lottery Community Fund to run activities that brings people together and boost confidence and wellbeing. Project workers and boxing coaches met Mrs Cluff and spoke to her about how the club has changed their lives for the better.

Mrs Cluff’s next stop was Newtown in Powys, where she saw first-hand how National Lottery funding is changing lives and creating new opportunities to build on the town’s assets. In the last five years, The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded 327 grants worth £11.68 million in Powys; 32 of these in Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn which were worth £2.48 million.*

Open Newtown received £1.1 million National Lottery funding to help transform 130 acres of green space, including the development of a new play park, BMX pump track, mountain bike trail, improved river access and a new riverside venue.

Mrs Cluff visited the park and met Gary Mitchell, Open Newtown CEO and Adam Kennerley, Manager of Open Newtown. She also spoke to Craig Williams, MP for Montgomeryshire and Jane Dodds, Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales.

Stuart Owen, Enterprise Development Manager at Open Newtown recently said:

“Thanks to The National Lottery for their funding and continued support, we have been able to unlock the potential of our green spaces.”

BC Wales visit August 21

Craig Williams (Montgomeryshire MP), Jane Dodds (Regional MS Mid and West Wales), Claire Cartwright (Ponthafren Director), Richard Williams (Mayor of Newtown), Guy Jones (Powys Funding Officer, The National Lottery Community Fund), Grant Mitchell (Open Newtown CEO), Blondel Cluff CBE (Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund)

While in Newtown, Mrs Cluff also met Claire Cartwright, Director and Peter Bayliss, Chair of Ponthafren. This group was set up in 1992 by people who had mental health issues looking for somewhere safe to socialise. Mrs Cluff toured the garden and heard about the much needed support the charity gave people throughout the pandemic, thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. It enabled Ponthafren to provide free online counselling to support people when they needed it most.

She finished her tour at Treowen Community Hall and met children and families from the local area who have benefited from the new multi-use games area. Thanks to a grant of £99,360 Trewowen community were able to transform the redundant tennis court into a new multi-use games area for children and young people.

Blondel Cluff CBE recently said:

“It’s been a real pleasure seeing and hearing more about the fantastic work that is happening in Wales, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. I'd like to thank Llanrumney Phoenix Boxing Club, Open Newtown, Ponthafren and Treowen Community for their welcome and giving me a glimpse of the difference they make to the lives of people.”

National Lottery players raise £36 million each week** for good causes throughout the UK. To find out more about applying for National Lottery funding to support people and communities to thrive, visit

* Figures are for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2021.

** based on 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.


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