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Celebrating 25 years of the National Lottery

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 marks the anniversary of the National Lottery's 25th birthday, an organisation that has played an important role in the work we do here.

Since the very first draw, The National Lottery has raised more than £40 billion for good causes in the areas of sport, heritage and community, not to mention the  £31.7m that was contributed towards the building of Wales Millennium Centre,  the nations's home for the arts.

Since opening we've welcomed more than 1.5m visitors through our doors every year, and contributed over £50m a year to the Welsh economy, but we're also a charity and the National Lottery has helped us achieve some amazing things.

Awais from Radio Plattform holding a mic and poetry book at a spoken word performance at Wales Millennium Centre
Awais performs his own poetry during our Radio Plattform graduation event

Over the last 15 years National Lottery funding has enabled us to establish fantastic partnerships with other charities and other organisations to deliver all kinds of events, in-house productions, experiences and amazing learning opportunities for young people, as well as developing and nurturing Welsh artists. Here's a taster of some of our more recent projects...

Since 2016 we've been working with applied theatre company, Theatre Versus Oppression (TVO) and homeless charity, The Wallich and as a result of TVO's  own funding, we've been able to support them in delivering life-changing projects such as Behind the Label.

This applied theatre project, gives a voice to people who’ve experienced difficulties such as homelessness, low self-esteem, addiction and mental health issues. Over several months the group learn a range of theatre skills to enable them to create, produce and promote their own theatre production from scratch and it's on again this December.

Over the past two years we've also received National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Wales for our award-winning co-production with Wales' Carys Eleri, whose one woman science comedy musical about the neuroscience of love and loneliness has been a hit with audiences both at home and further afield.

Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff) scooped up a Best Cabaret Award at the Adelaide Fringe in Australia, visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019 and there's also a Welsh language version currently touring titled: Cer i grafu...sori GARU!

We've also been give a year's worth of funding to work more closely with the local community. In August 2019 we put on a fantastic community banquet in response to communities who wanted to see the Centre being used to bring people together to learn more about cultures, create connections, share community arts and learn more about what we have to offer.

The Butetown community chose the theme which was African and Caribbean and people came from across Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys to celebrate, enjoy food, watch performances and take up community offers on tickets and tours of our theatre.

Lottery funding via Arts Council Wales has also helped us to develop and produce events like our very own Festival of Voice and host the national youth arts festival Rawffest.

Since 2016 our international arts festival, Festival of Voice has brought world-class acts such as Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, Angelique Kidjo and Billy Bragg to Cardiff as well as a host of up and coming artists from Wales and beyond. The festival returns in 2020 so watch this space...

April 2019 saw us hosting the hugely popular, national youth arts festival, Rawffest with an explosion of performances, gigs, exhibitions and workshops and the launch of our choir, Sing Proud Cymru.

We also invest a lot of time helping to develop homegrown talent and lottery funding has recently helped us appoint a new artist development associate to support and encourage new artists through workshops and Open Office days.

There are too many examples to list here of how funding has helped us but it's safe to say that the National Lottery’s funding we receive through Arts Council Wales has played a vital role in enabling us to deliver an incredible programme and create life changing experiences for many people over the last 15 years.

We wish the National Lottery a very happy 25th birthday and would like to say a huge and heartfelt ‘DIOLCH’ to all the lottery players for their support.