Whittlesey Indoor Bowls scoops £50,000 lottery cash

A big cheer has gone up in today as Whittlesey Indoor Bowls & Petanque Complex Ltd celebrates their win in the Big Lottery Fund and ITV s People s Millions contest. ITV Anglia West viewers voted for the project to win up to £50,000 in Lottery cash, after

A big cheer has gone up in today as Whittlesey Indoor Bowls & Petanque Complex Ltd celebrates their win in the Big Lottery Fund and ITV's People's Millions contest.

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

Whittlesey Bowls & Petanque won the hearts and minds of viewers across the region, with their pitch to spend the winning cash on making its facilities available to more people, including disabled people and the elderly. The project will use the funding to pay for building work and materials to replace old warped bowling rinks as well as to install new and accessible toilet facilities.

The group is this year's first People's Millions winners in ITV Anglia 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.

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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. There were over 100,000 votes cast across the UK yesterday in the first round of the competition.

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

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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: "I'm delighted that this year's People's Millions is up and running and once again proving to be a great success. Hundreds of thousands in Lottery cash is already making its way to the winning projects. These projects can now become a reality and benefit their communities for years to come.

Throughout this week many more groups will have cause for celebration in this exciting competition that puts Lottery spending in the hands of the voting public."

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 Development of Gayton Village Green project in Gayton, Northamptonshire going head to head with Hope Project Community House from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

Gayton Parish Council aims to develop Gayton Village Green by creating a safer play area as well as improving the community facility and its surroundings. The Hope Project aims to purchase and refurbish a new multi-functional community building for use by local residents in Wellingborough.

The following night, Wednesday 15 November, Refurbish Thorney Toll Village Hall project in Thorney Toll, Wisbech will be competing with Three Holes Playing Field in Three Holes, Cambridgeshire.

Thorney Toll Village Hall plans to develop the village hall to improve access, install accessible toilets, install a play area, refurbish the kitchen and purchase tables and chairs.

The Three Holes Playing Field project aims to develop and improve the facilities at the local community facility. The funding will allow the existing obsolete play area to be replaced with new innovative and safe play equipment in an enclosed area.

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

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