GREATER Manchester projects, Projekts MCR Skatepark and Leigh Film Society are appealing for votes to be crowned National Lottery Project of the Year.
They beat off stiff competition from 3,780 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrates inspirational projects and people who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.
There are 17 shortlisted finalists from across the UK, all of which will compete in a four-week public vote from 11th September to 9th October to be named The National Lottery Project of the Year. Winners will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their project and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.
Projekts MCR is the largest managed, community-led skatepark in the UK, and has been operating for nearly two decades under the Mancunian Way flyover. It serves the residents of eight large council housing estates that sit within a two-mile radius, all in the top 10 percent of the most deprived parts of the country. More than 6,300 people use the facility each year, with total visits to the park reaching 20,000 per year.
The team runs a range of initiatives aimed at getting young people into skateboarding, using it as a positive focus in their lives. They have delivered a city-wide scheme targeting girls at risk of disengagement from physical activity and conduct outreach in primary schools to reach children excluded from mainstream education, offering breakfast and after-school clubs. They also run LGBTQ+ sessions and innovative programmes for people with a disability and autism.
John Haines, CEO of Projekts MCR Skatepark, said:
“We’re delighted to receive this nomination, it’s wonderful news. Projekts MCR Skatepark is tucked away under a flyover, so it’s lovely to know people are recognising us for the work we’re doing. We really hope that the public will get behind the project and vote for us.”
The Leigh Film Society is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the delivery of quality film screenings for everyone. Founded in 2013, the society was set up by a small and loyal following with the aim of fighting against social isolation, creating opportunities for young people and supporting community cohesion through the power of film.
10 years on, the team has grown to a committed cohort of around 20 volunteers who work to make socially inclusive cinema accessible to all. They provide valuable volunteering opportunities for local film enthusiasts and for young people who want to build a career in the competitive film industry. They also run clubs aimed at people who are socially isolated, those with dementia and those with physical and mental disabilities.
The team at the Leigh Film Society are committed to delivering a professional service for seasoned film fans and the entire community, screening quality films across a range of genres from foreign language, art house and classics. The society has also built its own cinema, Leigh Film Factory within Spinners Mill, a Grade II listed building constructed entirely by volunteers using recycled materials.
Elizabeth Costello, Founder and Development Director at Leigh Film Society, said:
“It’s such an honour to be nominated for this award. We understand the value of bringing people together, using film to fight social isolation, creating opportunities for young people, supporting community cohesion and giving people a much-needed form of escapism. It feels amazing that our work is being recognised and we hope the public will vote for us.”
Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, added:
“We’re so pleased to have received so many nominations highlighting the excellent work that National Lottery-funded projects are doing up and down the UK. It’s no secret that times are tough, so it’s great to see so many people and projects dedicating so much time and energy to giving something back to their communities.
“It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that the work of these amazing projects is made possible.
“Projekts MCR Skatepark and Leigh Film Society are making an incredible impact in their local communities, and they thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the National Lottery Awards Project of the Year 2023. With your support, one of them could be a winner.”
To vote for Projekts MCR Skatepark or Leigh Film Society, please go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. Or simply use the Twitter hashtag #NLASkatepark or #NLALeighFilmSociety. Voting runs until 12pm on 9th October.