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Newry’s Imaginarium Arts and Story Centre is appealing for votes after reaching the finals of the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards - the search for the public’s favourite ever National Lottery-funded projects.  

The venue, run by local arts group Sticky Finger Arts at Edward Street in the city, is competing in the Best Culture, Arts and Film category.  They beat off stiff competition from more than 700 entrants to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

The organisation with the most votes will be crowned the winner and receive a £10,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One in November.

Sticky Fingers in Edward Street, Newry.
Sticky Fingers in Edward Street, Newry.

National Lottery funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland was integral to setting up the project which hosts arts programmes for babies up to teenagers of 17.  Sticky Finger Arts have received more than £1m of National Lottery funding through Arts Council Northern Ireland in a series of grants since 2003.

Grainne Powell, chief executive of Sticky Finger Arts, said: “It is a great honour for Sticky Finger Arts’ Imaginarium Arts and Story Centre to have reached the finals of the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards.

“The centre only opened in 2018 and it is the only dedicated arts space for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

“We have achieved so much is a short space of time and we would dearly love to win the National Lottery Award for Best Culture, Arts & Film project, so please vote for us!”

Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, added: “It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that brilliant projects like those in the finals of the National Lottery Awards are possible. 

“Sticky Finger Arts is doing an incredible job in its local community and the work they do with the Imaginarium Arts and Story Centre is hugely impressive.  They thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards and with your support they could be a winner.”

To vote

Go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

You can also follow the campaign on Twitter: hashtag #NLAwards. Voting runs from 9am on 24 July until midnight on 21 August.  

The award categories reflect the main areas of National Lottery funding: heritage, sport, arts, culture and film, community and charity, sporting legend which will be decided by a public vote alongside lifetime achievement, young hero, special recognition, and twelve local legend awards, which will be selected by a panel made up of representatives from the National Lottery family.

The first National Lottery draw took place on 19 November 1994.  The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK and, most importantly, to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing tens of millions of pounds every week to good causes.

National Lottery players have raised more than £40 billion for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community over the past 25 years. More than 565,000 National Lottery grants have been awarded since 1994, the equivalent of around 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district helping to strengthen communities, deliver sporting success, protect the environment, unleash local creative talent and look after the elderly and those at risk.

 

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