Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 12:20 UK

Lotto marks good causes milestone

Funding given to good causes in the East Midlands by the National Lottery has passed the 1bn mark.

Since the lottery began in 1994 the arts, heritage, voluntary communities and sport have all benefited.

Nottinghamshire has received more than 300m, Derbyshire 200m, Lincolnshire 100m, Leicestershire 300m and Northamptonshire 96m.

Two lottery-funded Olympians, Sam Hynd and David Florence, marked the event by unveiling a mural in Nottingham.

Sam Hynd, who took a swimming gold at the Paralympics, said the money had made a huge difference.

The Quad is one of five new major lottery funded arts projects
"My training has really stepped up - and that's not just intensity-wise but financially as well.

"I would not have this (gold medal) around my neck if I did not have that funding."

Lottery officials said the news coincided with the opening of the second of five new arts venues it had backed in the region.

Derby's Quad opened in September and together with New Art Exchange in Nottingham, the Level Centre, Rowsley, Derbyshire, Curve in Leicester and The Nottingham Contemporary, represent over 35m of lottery investment.

Youth success

Other projects to have benefited include Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, Leicester's National Space Centre, Alford Manor House in Lincolnshire and The National Ice Centre in Nottingham.

As well as these multi-million pound projects the National Lottery has helped thousands of smaller projects such as the Teen Rangers based in Hinckley and Melton Mowbray.

An award of 20,700 was made to them in 2007 to help young people get hands-on experience of practical nature conservation.

Manager Tracy Hayes said: "Without lottery funding we could never have got this project off the ground yet it was so successful it became a springboard for a new national youth ranger project."

Since it began, the lottery has given 300,500 grants, totalling 22bn, to good causes.


A special drawing was unveiled at the Broadmarsh Centre in Nottingham

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