Opinion Former Article

Big Lottery Fund: People's millions TV contest countdown begins

The pressure is on for communities who want a £50,000 slice of the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions. Groups across the UK have just one month left to put in their bid to enter this year's TV contest which has £5 million in Lottery good cause cash to award across the UK.

The BIG Lottery Fund are joining forces with ITV to encourage local organisations to enter the People's Millions contest before the noon deadline of 15 May 2008. The People's Millions gives local groups the chance to appear on TV and to win a grant of up to £50,000 to improve and enrich their local community.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund said:
"With only a month to go now is the time for groups to apply to the People's Millions. This is the fourth year we have teamed up with ITV to run this contest and we are really keen to hear from groups across the country who have a wonderful idea for funding. We've got nearly £5 million to give away, so if you're involved with a project that really helps local people, contact us now and get your completed application in to us by May 15th"

The Big Lottery Fund has 90 awards of up to £50,000 up for grabs - five awards in each of the 18 ITV regions across the UK. Projects will go head to head on TV with the chance of winning the public's support and sharing in up to £5 million of Lottery good cause money.

Organisations have until 15 May 2008 to enter the contest. The finalists will be screened nationwide on ITV evening news programmes later in the year when viewers will be able to cast their vote for the projects they want to win the Lottery good cause cash.

Since the People's Millions contest began four years ago, a total of £13.6 million has been awarded to 229 community projects and more than 1.1 million people across the UK have voted.

Application packs for People's Millions are available by calling the hotline: 08450 10 11 12* or
by visiting www.peoplesmillions.org.uk.

For further information call the Big Lottery Fund Press Office on 020 7 211 1888
Out of Hours contact: 07967 500 572

Full details of Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Notes to Editors

* Calls cost maximum of 4p per minute from a BT landline. Calls from mobiles and other networks may be higher.

Key People's Millions dates for forward planning diaries:
. 15 May 2008: Closing date for applications
. 29 October 2008: Final project shortlist announced to the media
. 24 - 28 November 2008: People's Millions competition televised on ITV

. Since the launch of 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. This year projects that provide opportunities or facilities for enjoying the local environment have also been added to the funding criteria.
. The Big Lottery Fund rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours, which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
. Telephone voting numbers - As with previous years, ITV and the Big Lottery Fund will use a low cost non-premium rate telephone number. ITV and BIG do not make a profit from the voting telephone numbers.
. The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004.
. On 1 December 2006 the Big Lottery Fund was officially established by Parliament and at the same time assumed the residual responsibilities of the dissolved National Lottery Charities Board (Community Fund) the New Opportunities Fund, and the Millennium Commission. The Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money.

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