UK. Reclaim Our River project wins ITV vote for People\'s Millions lottery cash

Friday, 17 November 2006

Plans are about to lift off for the Reclaim Our River project in Marlborough, Wiltshire with the news that they have won the public vote in the People's Millions contest on ITV for a BIG Lottery Fund award.

ITV West viewers voted for the project to win up to £50,000 in Lottery cash, after a nail biting head to head, screened on Wednesday's The West Tonight evening news.

The Reclaim Our River project won the hearts and minds of viewers across the region, with their pitch to spend the winning cash on cleaning up an area of river in Marlborough. The riverbanks will be replanted and rubbish will be removed so that local people can use the area for recreation. It is hoped the improvements will also encourage more wildlife to the area.

The group is this week's third People's Millions winners in the ITV West region. A total of 84 UK awards and up to £4.2 million in Big Lottery funding is up for grabs in the competition where viewers decide who gets Lottery cash.

Each night two local projects are showcased on ITV regional news in a head-to-head battle to secure public votes and a Big Lottery Fund award. Over 289,000 votes have been cast across the UK since Monday.

Unsuccessful projects from last night's competition are still in with a chance to win. Awards are not only being dished out to each night's winning projects, but an additional bonus prize will be awarded on Friday to the runner up in each ITV region* that chalks up the most public votes.

This is the second year the Big Lottery Fund and ITV have teamed up to bring UK viewers the People's Millions, giving the public a real say on where Lottery funding will go to benefit their community. Last year's contest was a huge success with viewers across the UK casting votes to give 53 projects a share of over £2.6 million to make a difference in their communities. Up to £15 million in grants will be given out by the Big Lottery Fund under the three year public involvement initiative.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund said: "This year's competition is proving to be bigger and better. The voting public have already done their bit to ensure many excellent community projects can be brought to life by helping them secure the Lottery cash. But it's still not over for those that didn't quite make it, they've still got a second chance as they wait to see if they will win a bonus award at the end of the week as the region's best runner up."

John Cresswell, Acting Chief Executive of ITV, said: "One of ITV's greatest strengths as a broadcaster is our ability to connect with local people through our ground breaking regional news and I'm delighted that ITV is playing such a key role both in the regions and nationally with initiatives such as the People's Millions. Once again we are inviting viewers to have a direct say on what they want their lottery good cause money spent on by tuning in to their local ITV news programme and voting for their favourite project."

The People's Million's competition continues tonight with the Blakehay Theatre & Community Meeting Place project in Weston-Super-Mare going head to head with the Mireystock Heritage Project in Mireystock, between Brierley and Lydbrook in Gloucestershire.

If successful after the vote, the Blakehay Theatre & Community Meeting Place project will refurbish a community theatre to encourage wider use. It is currently used by college students, special needs performers and as a meeting place for older people.

But if the Mireystock Heritage Project wins the cash, they will re-open a disused historical Victorian tunnel for use as an access for pedestrians and cyclists who currently have to cross a busy road.

Winners will be announced across ITV regional news on the day following the vote.

Last Updated ( Friday, 17 November 2006 )