Big Lottery Fund
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STARTING GATE OPENS FOR £50 MILLION LOTTERY CONTEST

Big Lottery Fund yesterday unveiled the final shortlist for the People’s £50 Million Lottery contest. The contest will see a project of national importance win a one-off award of £50 million chosen by public vote – the largest Lottery good cause funding to be awarded in this way.

Today the final short list of projects has been announced; these projects will now face the public vote in early December.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the BIG Lottery Fund said: “The People’s £50 Million Lottery contest is a truly ground-breaking initiative, giving everyone in the UK the opportunity to decide which of these highly deserving projects will receive the single biggest donation of BIG Lottery funding through pubic vote. It’s thanks to the public’s support of the lottery that this kind of investment in good causes can happen – so we want everyone to vote for their favourite project!”


Black Country Urban Park
Sarah Middleton, Chief Executive of the Black Country Consortium Ltd
which led the joint bid, said:
“We are delighted with this news, our partners and communities will be thrilled to hear we have gone through to the last stage of this exciting competition. If our bid is ultimately successful the Urban Park (UP) will turn the Black Country ‘green’, with an environmental revolution that will enrich the lives of its one million people.

“Our awe inspiring limestone caverns are of world importance and, along with the transformation of our canals, green spaces and industrial heritage, will make the Black Country not only a great place to live but also a ‘must experience’ region for visitors, both from the UK and overseas.
“Some 3,000 local groups and 300,000 young people will play their part in delivering the 500 local projects that make up our one clear vision of a better, greener Black Country.”

Eden Project: the Edge
Eden’s Chief Executive Tim Smit,
said:

“First of all it is an honour to be included amongst such great projects, all of whom would be fabulous additions to the nation’s wealth.

”To win such a prize would be the most fantastic accolade, as it would be chosen by the general public, the very people at whom the project is aimed - us! To have the privilege of creating a building we believe could be among the most important ever built would be humbling, scary and massively exciting as the opportunity to earth the lightning bolts of genius of the British people in one place, to illuminate how we can best meet the challenges of the coming century would indeed be history in the making.

“For Cornwall and the South West, it would provide an opportunity and a catalyst to inspire us to become a beacon for best practice in living lightly on the earth, while losing none of the colour and richness of a life fully lived. For the nation and the world it would be a unique and powerful symbol that 'lil ol homo sapiens' isn't prepared to walk passively through the gates of doom and it is indeed prepared to be worthy of its name.”

Sherwood: The Living Legend
Austin Brady, Chair of the Sherwood: the Living Legend project board, said:

"We're over the moon that the general public now have the chance to give Sherwood Forest a brighter future.

"Sherwood Forest means a lot to people. This is a £50m, once in a lifetime opportunity to restore this Forest. We could replant 700 acres of woodland and heathland, stitching together the ageing and fragmented Forest; create a 250km network of walking, cycling and horse riding paths connecting Sherwood to towns and counties in the heart of England; provide world class and environmentally friendly visitors facilities where you can learn all about Robin and Sherwood; and invest in our local communities, empowering them to celebrate their connections to Sherwood and our local legends.

"This is the best chance we will ever have to give Sherwood Forest the recognition and investment that it richly deserves - it really is, in every sense, a Living Landmark."


Sustrans – Connect2
John Grimshaw, Sustrans Chief Executive
said:

"We are delighted that Sustrans' Connect2 has made it through to the public TV vote of the Big Lottery Fund's: The People's £50 Million contest. Together with local communities, we look forward to doing all we can to win the vote so that we can bring real and lasting change to the everyday lives of millions of ordinary people all over the UK. We all need to travel around, and Connect2 will transform local areas, helping people on their everyday journeys, whether that's to the shops, schools, work or to get together with family and friends. Our projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are within a mile of as many as six million people, giving the £50 million the power to make a massive difference to our health, environment and overall quality of life, today, tomorrow and for generations to come."

Voting will take place online at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk and by phone vote following the TV show on ITV1 – further details to be announced soon.


Further Information available from BIG Lottery Press Office at Cake:

Laura Bonney Julia Barratt
T: 020 7307 3194 T: 020 7307 3168
E: laura@cakegroup.com  E: julia@cakegroup.com  
M: 07791 717708 M: 07791 717755

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888 Out of Hours Contact: 07867 500 572

Notes to Editors

Images from the shortlisted projects are available from BIG Press Office at CAKE.

Interviews are available with project representatives.

• Since its launch in June 2005, Living Landmarks has been supporting projects that make a significant positive contribution to the social and environmental quality of life in the UK.

• Each year Big Lottery Fund is responsible for allocating half the money for good causes raised by the National Lottery, amounting to around £630 million a year.



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