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The National Lottery Celebrates its 25th Birthday in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 3pm 0 Comments

Pictured at the National Lottery 25th Birthday event is Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland with singer-songwriter, Reevah. Image: Pictured at the National Lottery 25th Birthday event is Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland with singer-songwriter, Reevah.

In the past quarter of a century more than £1.2 billion has been invested in 25,000 local good causes across the arts, sport, community and heritage sectors.

To mark the occasion of the very first draw, The National Lottery has released two special films.

These include ‘What has the National Lottery Ever Done for Us?’ a Monty Python style look at the impact of funding across the UK starring the likes of comedian Jimmy Carr, Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlin and cycling great Sir Chris Hoy. Based on the famous sketch from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, this new take was and created by BAFTA nominated writer and director David Schneider. It can be viewed here:

A second short film skips through 25 years funding in Northern Ireland in just 25 seconds, highlighting many of the local organisations who have benefitted from National Lottery support from our local distributors; the Arts Council Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Community Fund, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Sport Northern Ireland.

These include:

  • The first ever National Lottery grant in Northern Ireland - £195,000 to Belfast City Council for the Mary Peters Stadium in 1995
  • The largest single National Lottery award in Northern Ireland - £45 million to build the SSE Arena
  • Funding to a host of Northern Irish sports stars including Rory McIlroy, Michael Conlon, Carl Frampton, Kelly Gallagher, Bethany Firth and Mark Allen.
  • The reinvigoration of the local arts scene from the building or renovation of iconic venues such as the Lyric Theatre, the Millennium Forum and commissioning public art installations such as The Rise sculpture in Belfast
  • Investment in heritage such as the restoration of the likes of HMS Caroline, SS Nomadic, Derry’s Playhouse, the Ulster Museum and St George’s Market.
  • Transforming the community in Northern Ireland by supporting landmark projects like the Connswater Community Greenway and thousands of charities and groups like the NI Children’s Hospice, WAVE Trauma Centre and the creation of healthy living centres throughout Northern Ireland.

The ’25 Years in 25 Seconds,’ film can be viewed below: 

Paul Mullan, chair of the National Lottery Forum in Northern Ireland and Director of Northern Ireland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“The last 25 years has seen immeasurable change in Northern Ireland and the National Lottery has been at the heart of this transformation.

“More than £1.2 billion of National Lottery players money has been invested in more than 25,000 local people and projects.

“This has allowed our sporting stars to compete at the highest level and we have the gold medal, world titles and major championships to prove it.

“Our artists and theatre groups have state of the art facilities to produce high quality arts that are appreciated on a local, national and global stage.

“We have been able to understand value and share our heritage which brings people together, inspires pride in communities and boosts investment in local economies.

“And this funding has allowed people in Northern Ireland to do extraordinary things, taking the lead to improve their lives and the community.

“But none of this would be possible without those people from Northern Ireland who have played The National Lottery over the last 25 years and we would like to say a huge thank you for your support.”

Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage, culture, film, charity and community.

The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK. Since The National Lottery began, over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK. That’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.

The 25th Birthday National Lottery activities are a great opportunity to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.


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