July 14, 2007

Curl Aberdeen shortlisted for the UK's favourite Lottery Awards

The National Lottery Awards are an annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects. These awards aim to celebrate and recognise the difference that these projects - both large and small - have made to people, places and communities all across the UK.

Twenty billion pounds have been distributed since the Lottery began in 1994. A variety of bodies are responsible for awarding National Lottery grants. The Big Lottery Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Millennium Commission, the UK Film Council and UK Sport allocate National Lottery money throughout the United Kingdom. In England the Arts Council England and Sport England distribute funds. Specific to Northern Ireland are the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Sport Council Northern Ireland, whereas in Wales the Sports Council for Wales and Arts Council of Wales distribute grants.

Scotland has three bodies that distribute funds specifically for Scottish projects: the Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Screen and sportscotland. Aberdeen's curling rink (Curl Aberdeen) received £800,000 from sportscotland to enable it to open in March 2005. The total cost of the project was £2.4 million. The successful project - many rate the rink as Scotland's best - is one of ten which has been shortlisted for the National Lottery Awards 2007 in the Best Sports Project category. Some of the ways the rink is used and a quote from manager Tom Brewster are here.

Because so many bodies distribute Lottery funding, many different types of project benefit, and hence the awards have been categorised. The categories for 2007 are: Best Arts Project; Best Education Project; Best Environment Project; Best Health Project; Best Heritage Project; Best Sports Project; The Sunday Mirror Award for Best Charity/Voluntary Project.

The first round of public voting is now underway and will last until August 3. Vote for the Curl Aberdeen award here.

The top three projects in each category will go through to the final round of public voting (which will take place August 13-31), to find the overall winner for each category. The winner of each category will win £2,000 for their project, and all the winners will be announced in a special BBC television programme, to be shown in the autumn.

It seems just yesterday that the work began to clear the site for the new Aberdeen rink. It was in fact a little more than three years ago, in April 2004. George Esson's photo is from the May 2004 Scottish Curler. The finished building is shown here.

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