Big Lottery Fund
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Countdown for UK Good Causes to win the People’s Millions public TV vote

Time is running out for 142 local communities across the UK who will be competing next week in their ITV regions for the public vote to win a share of Big Lottery Fund good cause cash worth £5 million.

The groups will all be competing head-to-head in November for awards of up to £50,000 in The People’s Millions TV contest to be showcased next week on ITV regional evening news.

Research shows that the number of votes cast in The People’s Millions contest has increased significantly year on year since 2005. Competing groups from last year, 60% of whom were first time applicants for Lottery funding, have reported that by participating they have increased their profile and enhanced their reputation in the community-win or lose.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “As year four of the competition gets under way our evaluation shows that there is increased public awareness of The People’s Millions, as well as the growing success of the competition finalists in getting both their supporters and the viewing public to pick up the phone and vote. So I urge people to tune in next week and vote for the projects they think will have the most positive impact on their local community.”

Research found that groups valued the beneficial impact of public involvement and the free publicity which is some cases led to attracting new funding and support as well as promoting community spirit in their regions.

The regional contests, awarding grants that benefit local communities, go live next week between 24 to 28 November. The 142 schemes will make their bid for the awards on ITV regional news programmes, with the winners being decided by the public in a phone vote.

Each night two good cause groups will battle it out on regional news programmes across each of the 18 ITV regions and at the end of the week 89 projects will take a share of £5m of lottery funding. The best runner-up in each region that chalks up the next best number of phone votes will be the fifth winner announced on Friday, November 28.

Over the last three years the programme has handed out £13.6m to 229 good causes UK-wide and 1.1 million people have voted for their favourite project.

Michael Grade, Executive Chairman of ITV, said: "ITV and the Big Lottery Fund have established a strong working relationship and we are delighted to support The People's Millions. This is our fourth year in partnership and we have helped give away grants totalling millions of pounds to hundreds of projects. That money has helped enhance the lives of many people in communities across the UK and this year we look forward to playing our part in awarding more grants, totalling in the region of £5 million."

Calls will cost 10p per call from a BT landline, calls from other networks may vary and from mobiles will be considerably more. After operating costs have been recouped any remaining phone revenue will be donated to charity. ITV and BIG do not make a profit from the voting telephone numbers.


Further Information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of Hours contact: 07867 500 572
ITV Press Contact: James MacLeod - 020 7156 7236

Full details of Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available at:


Notes to Editors

A FULL LIST of all competing projects in their regions is available at the BIG LOTTERY FUND Press Office: on 0207 211 1888 or online at

ITV broadcast regions in The People’s Millions:
ITV Anglia (East)
ITV Anglia (West)
ITV Border
ITV Central (East)
ITV Central (West)
ITV Granada
ITV London
ITV Meridian (South)
ITV Meridian (East)
ITV Thames Valley
ITV Tyne Tees
ITV Wales
ITV West
ITV Westcountry
STV Central
STV North


  • 89 awards are up for grabs across the UK – four winners plus one bonus award in each of the 18 ITV regions (except Thames Valley where there will be three awards and one bonus award).
  • Key The People’s Millions dates for forward planning diaries:
    24 - 28 November 2008:
    The People's Millions competition televised on ITV
  • Since the launch of The People’s Millions in 2005, the aim of the contest has been to fund projects that improve the quality of life of local communities through transforming the local environment.
  • The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
  • BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £22 billion has now been raised and more than 300,500 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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